Printed electronics meets haute couture at LOPEC
Fashion designers are including printed electronic elements into their collections. Smart clothing is another topic at LOPEC, the International Exhibition and Conference for the Printed Electronics Industry, from 13 to 15 March 2018 in Munich.
Printed electronics revolutionizes fashion design and makes our outfit interactive. “Light-emitting diodes, sensors and other components for garments must not only be extremely thin and light but also stretchable and washable. This is a very interesting field of application for printed electronics,” emphasizes Dr. Klaus Hecker, Managing Director of OE-A (Organic and Printed Electronics Association) and co-organizer of the annual LOPEC. The trade fair will specifically address the fashion industry. A pioneer from London in the field of electronic fashion will present its technology in a plenary lecture at the LOPEC Conference. The company has designed an evening dress with over 10,000 integrated light-emitting diodes that show animated images on the flowing fabric.
Wearable electronics can lend our clothing functions that could not be implemented with any other technology. One example is the Soundshirt. It was designed for deaf people and lets them “feel” concerts. There are 16 micro-actuators embedded in the fabric that translate sounds into vibrations - violins, for example, can be felt on the arm, drums in the back. Similarly, the Hug ShirtTM works by gently hugging the wearer when a person sends a hug signal to the shirt via mobile phone. These examples show: When two industries as different as the electronics industry and the world of fashion merge, unexpected things become possible.