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Inkjet Printers & The Tech Future

The wearable tech industry is booming, and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. From smartwatches to fitness trackers, we are literally on the

The wearable tech industry is booming, and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. From smartwatches to fitness trackers, we are literally on the edge of our seats waiting for what developers will come up with next. Ironically, what may be the future in wearable technology, is a little ode to the past. After printing working transistors, researchers believe that manufacturers will soon be able to make smartwatch features with inkjet printers.

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Science magazine reported that the researchers at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea created the circuits out of carbon-based compounds.

“I cannot think of another [device with two layers] where everything was done with inkjet printing,” Ananth Dodabalapur, an electrical engineer at the University of Texas at Austin, told Science. “This is a good demonstration.”

Incorporating inkjet printing means we could see a new wave of flexible electronics, instead of hard plated items made with silicon chips. For example, a flexible watch would be able to detect data, such as stiffness of arteries and brain activity. This would allow patients and doctors to be warned about medical issues, such as heart attacks or seizures.

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And, unlike many other electronics, a printed transistors would have the power to work up to eight months after creation.

However, there is a slight downside. This technology is still in its embryonic stages of development. So far the technologists have only been able to pack five transistors into a square millimeter, which pales in comparison to circuit chips in computers, which have millions in the same amount of space.

“Our technology, in terms of transistor density, is at the stage of silicon technology in the late 1960s or early 1970s, when the first microprocessors came out.”

It seems as if it’s only a matter of time until this tech is perfected. In the meantime, the future of wearable tech items continues to shine.

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