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Flexible

Wearables

Researchers create soft, weavable LED fibers for truly flexible wearable displays

Electronic displays for integration with clothing and textiles are a rapidly developing field in the realm of wearable electronics. However, flexible LEDs designed to form part of an elastic or deformable coating for clothing or apparel – even displays specifically designed to be directly bio-compatible – still rely on a hard substrate on which to layer the appropriate electroluminescent material. Now researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have created a fiber-like LED that can be directly knitted or woven to form part of the fabric itself.Read More

Fully-flexible touchscreen wristband slated for 2016 launch

Wearables, to be true to their name, should ideally be devices that are comfortable and easy to wear, like a snug scarf or a soft pair of socks. But many devices laying claim to the wearable tag don't quite meet this brief. The Wove Band could be an exception. Billed as the "world's first flexible touch display," the design combines a flexible E Ink display with a proprietary digital fabric developed by Chicago-based Polyera over a ten year period.Read More

Science

"Nano-accordion" conductors may find use in flexible and stretchable electronics

A new conductive, transparent, and stretchable nanomaterial that folds up like an accordion could one day be applied to the development of flexible electronics and wearable sensors, as well as stretchable displays. The researchers at North Carolina State University who created this "nano-accordion" structure caution that it is early days yet, but they hope to find ways to improve its conductivity and eventually scale it up for commercial or industrial use.Read More

Physics

New process prints electroluminescent layers directly onto three-dimensional objects

Electroluminescent (EL) panels are found in many electronics applications, particularly as backlighting for LCD displays, keypads, watches, and other areas requiring uniform, low-power illumination. While relatively flexible, when EL panels made from plastic are bent too sharply, fractures and a severely diminished output usually result. As a result, EL panels have generally been restricted to flat or slightly curved surfaces. However, researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Franz Binder GmbH & Co have now developed a new manufacturing process to print EL panels directly onto the surface of almost any convex and concave shape. Even, apparently, onto spheres.Read More

Robotics

Octopus-arm-like tool may find use in surgery

When surgeons are trying to operate on hard-to-reach organs, they'll often have to make multiple incisions to get at the area from different angles, or use tools such as retractors to pull other tissue out of the way. A team of researchers from Italy's Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, however, is developing an alternative – a flexible octopus arm-inspired tool that can squirm its way between organs, then hold them back while simultaneously operating.Read More

Bicycles

Litelok offers lightweight flexible bike security

It's kind of ironic that while many cyclists ride lightweight bikes, they still carry heavy-duty U-locks that weigh several pounds. In most cases, however, lighter cable locks can easily be defeated with a set of bolt cutters. That's why Prof. Neil Barron, a former aeronautical engineer, has created the Litelok. It's light and flexible like a cable lock, but reportedly stands up to over five minutes of attack from tools such as bolt cutters, jacks and hack saws. Read More

Electronics

PrintDisplay: DIY displays and touchscreens anyone can print

For years now, we've been promised miraculous new flexible touchscreen displays, but the deployment of such technology in big consumer products, like say the LG G Flex, hasn't started any revolutions just yet. That could soon change thanks to a team of computer scientists from Germany's Saarland University who have developed a technique that could allow anyone to literally print their own custom touchscreen displays. Read More

Bicycles

Bam City bar flexes to smooth out the potholes

When serious cyclists want a little more vibration damping (or lower weight) in their handlebars, they'll often shell out hundreds of bucks for a carbon fiber bar. French company Baramind, however, wants to extend the concept of shock-absorbing handlebars to everyday commuters, with the not-so-expensive but even-flexier Bam City. Read More

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