LONDON, UK: Stretchable electronics concerns electrical and electronic circuits and combinations of these that are elastically or inelastically stretchable by more than a few percent while retaining function. For that, they tend to be laminar and usually thin.
No definitions of electronics and electrical sectors are fully watertight but it is convenient to consider stretchable electronics as a part of printed electronics, a term taken to include printed and potentially printed (eg thin film) electronics and electrics. This is because the cost, space and weight reduction sought in most cases is best achieved by printing and printing-like technologies.
The applications targeted are primarily in healthcare, including health-related monitoring and management for military purposes and sport. About 40 percent of the research and commercialisation of stretchable electronics takes place in the USA, with the UK, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Korea and Japan, also making a broad impact.
This report examines who is bringing what to market and why and it analyses where the most promising opportunities lie. It scopes the emerging stretchable technologies, many of which promise huge improvements, opening yet more potential markets.