Component Management

Wearable Technology to be a focus at LOPEC 2016

15th February 2016
Nat Bowers

LOPEC 2016 (April 5–7 in Munich) will feature smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearable technology  and wearables will also be on the agenda at the LOPEC Conference, where top-class speakers from companies such as Adidas will be in attendance.

Smartshirts, GPS running watches, and other devices that are worn on the body to track health data or sporting performance and allow users to connect with their surroundings are steadily gaining in popularity. According to the experts, this is causing the European market for wearable technology to grow by around 25 percent each year, with sales expected to exceed 9 billion euros by 2018. One of the highlights at LOPEC 2016 is set to be the Plenary Session on wearable electronics for athletes to be given by Burkhard Dümler, Director Program & Projects IT Innovation at Adidas. With its activity tracker wristbands, GPS running watches, and a wide range of other similar products, Adidas has played an active role in the field of wearable tech for some time now.

Printed electronics, with their thin, light, and flexible characteristics, allow for new products to be developed and increase levels of comfort for users. "At LOPEC 2016, we will be looking to explore the ways in which textiles and electronics can be combined even more effectively," says Dümler. "It's a process with lots of potential, so printing electronic components is certainly something that we are taking into consideration." It is not just in the health and fitness sector that printed electronics are in demand as an addition, or indeed alternative, to conventional silicon technology. Dr. Gordon Smith from the American company GSI Technologies will be providing an overview of wearable printed electronics on April 7 as part of the "Wearable Electronics" module at the LOPEC Conference, and Dr. Thomas Kraft from the University of Technology in Tampere, Finland, will be speaking about how wearable tech is making life with networked technology even more regular, facilitating the breakthrough of the Internet of Things. LOPEC represents the entire value chain, bridging the gap between developers, manufacturers, and users of printed electronics. Renowned research institutes including the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and the Holst Center in the Netherlands will be tackling the topic of wearable tech, as will materials manufacturers DuPont, Heraeus and Henkel, who will be presenting conductible inks and pastes that can be printed onto flexible substrates. Product highlights from the smart wearable electronics sector will also be showcased on the jointly held Wearables Exhibition Stand, as well as at the stands of GSI Technologies and, of course, the OE-A. Applications from companies including adidas will be presented at the Innovation Showcase, an exhibition area dedicated to product innovations and prototypes. The market for wearable tech is set to grow as printed electronics evolve, with more and more opportunities opening up as sensors are able to take more accurate measurements and wearable electronics become more durable. If you are keen to be part of this boom, then now is the perfect time to get an overview. And LOPEC 2016 provides you with the ideal opportunity to do just that.

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