Smart Clothing: PV-Powered Future Fabrics

Smart CL images** From NanoMarkets LC ** Just in time for the holidays, for that technophile-slash-fashonista in your life: Tommy Hilfiger’s new $599 solar panel jacket, which combines a removable solar pack with “prestigious Abraham Moon wool for a traditional twist,” the designer proclaims. The jacket incorporates several snap-off amorphous silicon (a-Si) solar panels on its back (from supplier Pvilion), hooked to a battery pack in the front pocket with a double USB port.

The companies claim the solar panels can fully charge this battery, which itself can fully charge a standard 1500 mAh mobile device up to four times. Rather importantly they don’t say how long that would take, though the battery also can be charged by laptop or external outlet.

So far the general Internet response to the solar-powered jacket has largely been head-scratching curiosity and “what won’t they dream up next.” Nevertheless, a month into their trial debut the jackets appear to be in demand with limited remaining availability. More broadly, we see this as one of the more visible recent examples of the next trend in consumer electronic devices: truly wearable electronics, or “smart clothing.”

Wearable Electronics and Smart Clothing

The two earliest types of wearable computing concepts have been smart watches and smart glasses, both of which basically move smartphone functionalities into a wearable context. Most of the smart glasses being developed arguably go a step further to mesh communications capabilities with additional visual and other sensual enhancements (including augmented reality), and in a much more visible profile.

Ultimately, true wearable computing will evolve to be more than a device worn or strapped to (or even someday implanted within) the body — it will be integrated into clothing itself. Thus, “smart clothing” blurs the lines between fabrics and electronics with items that merge with the body of the wearer in both form and functionality. These incorporate various computing devices and sensors and energy harvesting — and even fabrics that incorporate some of those capabilities themselves — for various kinds of applications, from fitness metrics to pregnancy monitoring, even biochemical hazard protection.

The Hilfiger jacket isn’t the only solar-powered clothing we’ve seen. Other examples include:

  • Pauline van Dongen created wearable solar clothing in 2013: a dress with 72 flexible solar cells and a coat with 48 rigid solar cells. Each was said to be capable of charging a smartphone to 50% over an hour in full sunshine.
  • LLBean’s Solar PowerCap has a solar panel in the brim to charge a (non-replaceable) NIMH battery and power four LED lights, “even if it’s not in direct sunlight.” A full charge is said to provide more than 21 hours of light.
  • The ILLUM cycling jacket concept incorporates printed electroluminescent ink and printed photovoltaic technology, with the functional parts placed outside the jacket and into several ergonomic panels.

Solar: Powering the Smart Clothing Revolution

Those sensing functionalities, plus the connectivity to collect and consolidate data to make sense of it all, involve some fairly significant power consumption. Energy to power smart clothing could come from a variety of sources: a small solar panel, an antenna that collects ambient radio wave energy, a thermoelectric material that absorbs body heat, or piezoelectric devices that collect energy from movement.

Thus NanoMarkets sees energy harvesting and power generation technologies combined with energy storage systems as the next step in developing practical wearable electronics, complementing one another and demonstrating ways to charge smart textiles without having to “plug in” the garment.

A key factor in any “smart clothing” is that the technology lends itself to wearability, i.e. flexible and lightweight. Also (and rather obviously) the small area afforded by clothing presents a challenge for any kind of energy generation.

Thus this is a market for alternative solar PV technologies to shine. NanoMarkets suggests that organic PV ultimately is a prime material choice for PV on fabric, as it can be produced on large-area, low-cost plastic planar substrates. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) also are emerging as a contender.

The formfactor lends best to flexible lightweight thin-film technologies which by their nature have lower efficiencies, and in a small available surface area. In the past, research efforts have attempted to bridge these gaps:

  • Sefar (Switzerland) has developed a transparent front electrode on a fabric base for flexible solar cells. The synthetic fabric is coated on one side with a gas-tight, transparent layer; it offers light transmittance of over 85%, and can be processed using the roll-to-roll method. The conductivity in the fabric is created by means of woven-in metal wires (R < 1 Ω/sq).
  • The EU-funded research project Dephotex (2008-2011) worked to demonstrate flexible solar cells that can be readily integrated into fabrics, identifying suitable materials for the solar cells and different techniques for implanting them into the fabric. Despite needed improvements to conversion efficiency and flexibility, a number of companies are said to have expressed interest in collaborating with Dephotex to commercialize photovoltaic fabrics.
  • Researchers at Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (January 2013) have integrated power fiber for energy conversion and storage, utilizing a highly flexible solar cell fiber and pseudocapacitive fiber employing redox polyaniline that converts and stores solar energy in one device.
  • China’s Fudan University has developed a new method to produce flexible, wearable DSC textiles by stacking two textile electrodes.
  • PowerFilm Solar uses fabric (among other materials) as non-traditional backing for solar panels, from portable chargers up to a canopy-size foldable shelter.
  • The U.S. Army and MC10 have collaborated to scale up stretchable solar panel prototypes and assess their efficiency as functional battery chargers, including flexible solar energy harvesters sewn into uniforms and backpacks.

Remember the Consumer

Before planning your wardrobe around powered “smart clothing,” we urge everyone to remember the biggest question about this sector: end-market appeal. While the current generation of smart glasses do seem to be gaining momentum in some industrial use cases, the general consensus so far (especially about Google Glass) is that they look strange when they are worn — meaning they’re a non-starter for consumer market appeal. Newer entrants are promising more understated styles much closer to “normal” glasses as possible, even if it means reducing their functionality (and price-point).

The lesson: any hope to blend electronics functionality into a truly wearable context, targeting beyond niche applications such as military into the large volumes (and large revenues) promised with broad consumer adoption, must demonstrate a clear usage case on top of style considerations. Solar-powered fabrics are not easy to wear; they must incorporate a robust design (perhaps Hilfiger’s choice of wool helps here), and the purpose of integrating PV has to be clearly highlighted in the product’s design. Bulky, unattractive clothing won’t be appealing to anyone in a mass-market context. As a counterexample, we recall the proposed Solar Coterie “solar bikini” design that incorporated strips of flexible solar cells. This would seem not only difficult to wear, but rather counterintuitive to combine electricity with clothing meant to be immersed in water!

Fashion designers are key to the success of any fashionable clothing, and their interest in smart clothing is very important for the introduction and success of the smart fashion sector. For now, we observe that fashion designers prefer illuminated clothing and sound-reactive products in their offerings, which represents a very niche and smaller market. However, we are starting to see indications that designers would prefer clothing that incorporates energy storage and health sensing, which will result in greater penetration of smart clothing in fashion.

NanoMarkets does see a bright future for smart clothing with built-in energy harvesting and storage, particularly solar. Although it’s in infancy at the moment, we see this gradually growing in time.

The Evolution of Smart Clothing: Better Fabrics and Sensors

Stressed Out LI 50210Wearable computing is lauded as the next evolution of computing and interactivity. Today this is manifesting in the market with “smart” watches and displays and the first wave of “smart glasses.” The next step in wearable computing is in “smart” clothing, i.e. fabrics integrated with various electronics and computing components and energy harvesting, and even fabrics that incorporate some of those capabilities themselves. Some clothing that could be plausibly considered “smart” has been available for years, essentially as a niche market.

NanoMarkets sees this category poised to emerge into the spotlight and becoming a significant revenue generator for various levels in the supply chain, from materials suppliers to retailers. The key lies in the progress of development and commercialization of new and improved fabrics and sensors that are the essential building blocks for the capabilities — and value — of various smart clothing products.

Three main barriers historically have been, and continue to be, at the center of development for “smart clothing” to pave the way for mass adoption:

  • improved connectivity between modules,
  • improved washability of smart fabrics, and s
  • standardized protocols.

Thus, here also lies the opportunity for both materials and sensor manufacturers to develop new and improved types of smart fabrics and sensors: from lighter, soft flexible sensors to functional fabrics, conductive polymers, and even fibertronics that can function without the need for sensors.

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New Direction for Textiles and Solar Cells

Textile Solar id36860Textile solar cells are an ideal power source for small electronic devices incorporated into clothing. In the journal Angewandte Chemie (“Integrating Perovskite Solar Cells into a Flexible Fiber”), Chinese scientists have now introduced novel solar cells in the form of fibers that can be woven into a textile. The flexible, coaxial cells are based on a perovskite material and carbon nanotubes; they stand out due to their excellent energy conversion efficiency of 3.3 % and their low production cost.

The dilemma for solar cells: they are either inexpensive and inefficient, or they have a reasonable efficiency and are very expensive. One solution may come from solar cells made of perovskite materials, which are less expensive than silicon and do not require any expensive additives. Perovskites are materials with a special crystal structure that is like that of perovskite, a calcium titanate. These structures are often semiconductors and absorb light relatively efficiently. Most importantly, they can move electrons excited by light for long distances within the crystal lattice before they return to their energetic ground state and take up a solid position – a property that is very important in solar cells.
A team led by Hisheng Peng at Fudan University in Shanghai has now developed perovskite solar cells in the form of flexible fibers that can be woven into electronic textiles. Their production process is relatively simple and inexpensive because it uses a solution-based process to build up the layers.



Textile Solar id36860


The anode is a fine stainless steel wire coated with a compact n-semiconducting titanium dioxide layer. A layer of porous nanocrystalline titanium dioxide is deposited on top of this. This provides a large surface area for the subsequent deposition of the perovskite material CH3NH3PbI3. This is followed by a layer made of a special organic material. Finally a transparent layer of aligned carbon nanotubes is continuously wound over the whole thing to act as the cathode. The resulting fiber is so fine and flexible that it can be woven into textiles.

The perovskite layer absorbs light, that excites electrons and sets them free, causing a charge separation between the electrons and the formally positively charged “holes” The electrons enter the conducting band of the compact titanium dioxide layer and move to the anode. The “holes” are captured by the organic layer. The large surface area and the high electrical conductivity of the carbon nanotube cathode aid in the rapid conduction of the charges with high photoelectric currents. The fiber solar cell can attain an energy conversion efficiency of 3.3 %, exceeding that of all previous coaxial fiber solar cells made with either dyes or polymers.
Source: Wiley



Perovskite: New Wonder Material to make Cheaper & Easier to Manufacture LED’s



ledsmadefromColourful LEDs made from a material known as perovskite could lead to LED displays which are both cheaper and easier to manufacture in future. 

A hybrid form of perovskite – the same type of material which has recently been found to make highly efficient solar cells that could one day replace silicon – has been used to make low-cost, easily manufactured LEDs, potentially opening up a wide range of in future, such as flexible colour displays.

This particular class of semiconducting perovskites have generated excitement in the solar cell field over the past several years, after Professor Henry Snaith’s group at Oxford University found them to be remarkably efficient at converting light to electricity. In just two short years, perovskite-based solar cells have reached efficiencies of nearly 20%, a level which took conventional silicon-based 20 years to reach.


Now, researchers from the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich have demonstrated a new application for perovskite , using them to make high-brightness LEDs. The results are published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Perovskite is a general term used to describe a group of materials that have a distinctive crystal structure of cuboid and diamond shapes. They have long been of interest for their superconducting and ferroelectric properties. But in the past several years, their at converting light into electrical energy has opened up a wide range of potential applications.

The perovskites that were used to make the LEDs are known as organometal halide perovskites, and contain a mixture of lead, carbon-based ions and halogen ions known as halides. These materials dissolve well in common solvents, and assemble to form perovskite crystals when dried, making them cheap and simple to make.

“These organometal halide perovskites are remarkable semiconductors,” said Zhi-Kuang Tan, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory and the paper’s lead author. “We have designed the diode structure to confine electrical charges into a very thin layer of the perovskite, which sets up conditions for the electron-hole capture process to produce light emission.”

The perovskite LEDs are made using a simple and scalable process in which a perovskite solution is prepared and spin-coated onto the substrate. This process does not require high temperature heating steps or a high vacuum, and is therefore cheap to manufacture in a large scale. In contrast, conventional methods for manufacturing LEDs make the cost prohibitive for many large-area display applications.

“The big surprise to the semiconductor community is to find that such simple process methods still produce very clean semiconductor properties, without the need for the complex purification procedures required for traditional semiconductors such as silicon,” said Professor Sir Richard Friend of the Cavendish Laboratory, who has led this programme in Cambridge.

“It’s remarkable that this material can be easily tuned to emit light in a variety of colours, which makes it extremely useful for colour displays, lighting and optical communication applications,” said Tan. “This technology could provide a lot of value to the ever growing flat-panel display industry.”

The team is now looking to increase the efficiency of the LEDs and to use them for diode lasers, which are used in a range of scientific, medical and industrial applications, such as materials processing and medical equipment. The first commercially-available LED based on perovskite could be available within five years.

Explore further: Scientists develop pioneering new spray-on solar cells

More information: Nature Nanotechnology,… /nnano.2014.149.html

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Anti-Counterfeit Drug Labels (w/video): Only a ‘Breath’ Away

Breath Drug Counterfeit id36807An outline of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic face appeared on the clear, plastic film when a researcher fogs it with her breath. Terry Shyu, a doctoral student in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan, was demonstrating a new high-tech label for fighting drug counterfeiting. While the researchers don’t envision movie stars on medicine bottles, but they used Monroe’s image to prove their concept.

Counterfeit drugs, which at best contain wrong doses and at worst are toxic, are thought to kill more than 700,000 people per year. While less than 1 percent of the U.S. pharmaceuticals market is believed to be counterfeit, it is a huge problem in the developing world where as much as a third of the available medicine is fake.

To fight back against these and other forms of counterfeiting, researchers at U-M and in South Korea have developed a way to make labels that change when you breathe on them, revealing a hidden image. This work is reported in Advanced Materials (“Shear-Resistant Scalable Nanopillar Arrays with LBL-Patterned Overt and Covert Images”). “One challenge in fighting counterfeiting is the need to stay ahead of the counterfeiters,” said Nicholas Kotov, the Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Chemical Engineering who led the Michigan effort.



The method requires access to sophisticated equipment that can create very tiny features, roughly 500 times smaller than the width of a human hair. But once the template is made, labels can be printed in large rolls at a cost of roughly one dollar per square inch. That’s cheap enough for companies to use in protecting the reputation of their products—and potentially the safety of their consumers.

Breath Drug Counterfeit id36807

Terry Shyu, MSE PhD Student, demonstrates use of nanopillars that reveal hidden images via condensation of fluid on the structures.


“We use a molding process,” Shyu said, noting that this inexpensive manufacturing technique is also used to make plastic cups.

The labels work because an array of tiny pillars on the top of a surface effectively hides images written on the material beneath. Shyu compares the texture of the pillars to a submicroscopic toothbrush. The hidden images appear when the pillars trap moisture.
“You can verify that you have the real product with just a breath of air,” Kotov said.
The simple phenomenon could make it easy for buyers to avoid being fooled by fake packaging.
Previously, it was impossible to make nanopillars through cheap molding processes because the pillars were made from materials that preferred adhering to the mold rather than whatever surface they were supposed to cover. To overcome this challenge, the team developed a special blend of polyurethane and an adhesive.
The liquid polymer filled the mold, but as it cured, the material shrunk slightly. This allowed the pillars to release easily. They are also strong enough to withstand rubbing, ensuring that the label would survive some wear, such as would occur during shipping. The usual material for making nanopillars is too brittle to survive handling well.
The team demonstrated the nanopillars could stick to plastics, fabric, paper and metal, and they anticipate that the arrays will also transfer easily to glass and leather.
Following seed funding from the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program and DARPA’s Small Business Technology Transfer program, the university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.
Source: University of Michigan


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Chairman Terry: “Nanotech is a true science race between the nations, and we should be encouraging the transition from research breakthroughs to commercial development.”

WASHINGTON, DCThe Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), today held a hearing on:

“Nanotechnology: Understanding How Small Solutions Drive Big Innovation.”




“Great Things from Small Things!” … We Couldn’t Agree More!


Subcommittee Examines Breakthrough Nanotechnology Opportunities for America

July 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, DCThe Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), today held a hearing on “Nanotechnology: Understanding How Small Solutions Drive Big Innovation.” Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is approximately 1 to 100 nanometers (one nanometer is a billionth of a meter). This technology brings great opportunities to advance a broad range of industries, bolster our U.S. economy, and create new manufacturing jobs. Members heard from several nanotech industry leaders about the current state of nanotechnology and the direction that it is headed.UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO - New $5 million lab

“Just as electricity, telecommunications, and the combustion engine fundamentally altered American economics in the ‘second industrial revolution,’ nanotechnology is poised to drive the next surge of economic growth across all sectors,” said Chairman Terry.



Applications of Nanomaterials Chart Picture1

Dr. Christian Binek, Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, explained the potential of nanotechnology to transform a range of industries, stating, “Virtually all of the national and global challenges can at least in part be addressed by advances in nanotechnology. Although the boundary between science and fiction is blurry, it appears reasonable to predict that the transformative power of nanotechnology can rival the industrial revolution. Nanotechnology is expected to make major contributions in fields such as; information technology, medical applications, energy, water supply with strong correlation to the energy problem, smart materials, and manufacturing. It is perhaps one of the major transformative powers of nanotechnology that many of these traditionally separated fields will merge.”

Dr. James M. Tour at the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University encouraged steps to help the U.S better compete with markets abroad. “The situation has become untenable. Not only are our best and brightest international students returning to their home countries upon graduation, taking our advanced technology expertise with them, but our top professors also are moving abroad in order to keep their programs funded,” said Tour. “This is an issue for Congress to explore further, working with industry, tax experts, and universities to design an effective incentive structure that will increase industry support for research and development – especially as it relates to nanotechnology. This is a win-win for all parties.”

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Professor Milan Mrksich of Northwestern University discussed the economic opportunities of nanotechnology, and obstacles to realizing these benefits. He explained, “Nanotechnology is a broad-based field that, unlike traditional disciplines, engages the entire scientific and engineering enterprise and that promises new technologies across these fields. … Current challenges to realizing the broader economic promise of the nanotechnology industry include the development of strategies to ensure the continued investment in fundamental research, to increase the fraction of these discoveries that are translated to technology companies, to have effective regulations on nanomaterials, to efficiently process and protect intellectual property to ensure that within the global landscape, the United States remains the leader in realizing the economic benefits of the nanotechnology industry.”

James Phillips, Chairman & CEO at NanoMech, Inc., added, “It’s time for America to lead. … We must capitalize immediately on our great University system, our National Labs, and tremendous agencies like the National Science Foundation, to be sure this unique and best in class innovation ecosystem, is organized in a way that promotes nanotechnology, tech transfer and commercialization in dramatic and laser focused ways so that we capture the best ideas into patents quickly, that are easily transferred into our capitalistic economy so that our nation’s best ideas and inventions are never left stranded, but instead accelerated to market at the speed of innovation so that we build good jobs and improve the quality of life and security for our citizens faster and better than any other country on our planet.”

Chairman Terry concluded, “Nanotech is a true science race between the nations, and we should be encouraging the transition from research breakthroughs to commercial development. I believe the U.S. should excel in this area.”

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New Thin-Flexible Batteries for New Wearable Devices (and Clothing)

Textile 2 1384358970137** From NanoMarkets LC The new generation of wearable and flexible gadgets such as smart watches, glasses, and fitness trackers, all require batteries that are flexible and small enough to fit into these devices. This could give a big boost to the prospects for thin film and printed batteries, but it’s not yet clear which companies will benefit most. Existing thin film (TF) battery suppliers may be able to leverage their expertise, but OEMs are pursuing wearable applications and developing their own batteries, posing a threat to the TF battery suppliers.

While multiple large and influential companies are pursuing TF battery technology, two in particular seem well-positioned and motivated to go after the wearable electronics sector: LG Chemical and Apple.

LG Chemical Expanding its Offerings

LG Chemical has its eye on new battery technologies and announced in October 2013 that it had succeeded in producing batteries with different shapes. Among these are stepped batteries, a design that stacks two or more batteries on top of each other in a stepped configuration to adapt to mobile devices of various shapes, and curved batteries, which are a natural fit for curved devices. Stepped batteries may be helpful for mobile phones but are not especially desirable for wearable devices. Curved batteries could be an option but may not be flexible enough.

While LG is already manufacturing stepped and curved batteries, it has another technology in the works that seems perfectly suited for use in watch bands. The company is planning to produce cable batteries, which are flexible, waterproof, and can even be tied into a knot. This versatility makes them compatible with wearable devices, and they were in fact designed with exactly this market in mind. NanoMarkets sees this as a compelling technology that may enable growth in the wearable devices market.

The company is definitely aiming at increasing its market share in various battery technologies, including those directed at the wearables market. Given its brand name recognition and production capabilities, it could well be in a position to take business away from existing thin film battery suppliers.

Apple Eyeing Shaped Batteries

Apple is almost certainly going to be a key influencer of the wearables market, presumably through a smart watch project. The rumor mill has produced various possible concepts for an iWatch, and it’s hard to know what form such a watch will eventually take. But it will need a battery, and Apple’s patent application published in July 2013 detailing the creation of a flexible battery shape suggests Apple’s interest in producing the battery itself.

Apple’s patent, which was filed in December 2011, covers a flexible battery pack that consists of several different cells connected through a laminate layer and is designed to be able to conform to meet the needs of flexible electronic devices. The patent also allows for a battery pack where certain cells are can be removed to incorporate cooling devices, flashes, or cameras, allowing the battery to fit more snugly into a small space.

While not all of Apple’s many patents lead to products, this does point the way toward the company entering the flexible battery market. It makes sense for Apple to have a vested interest in battery technology. Perhaps Apple could license the concept for its flexible battery pack to a subcontractor, opening the door for a smaller company to benefit from growth in batteries for wearable devices.

Prospects for Thin Film Battery Suppliers

Existing TF battery manufacturers have been struggling for a long time to develop products that the market will want to buy, but there is a window of opportunity with the growth of new product segments such as wearables. Small battery companies do, however, face a real threat from OEMs and a risk that the larger companies may run them out of business.

The story is not all gloomy, though, as there are multiple avenues the smaller firms can take. They may be able to forge partnerships with OEMs by convincing them that their years of expertise producing batteries are valuable. Such collaboration could take the form of a contract agreement, acquisition, or strategic investment from these influential firms.

If wearables eventually grab the interest of consumers the way cell phones have, the potential market is huge. This is likely to be some years off, but it is wise for battery manufacturers to plan ahead. Collaborating with OEMs can be a way for smaller firms to achieve the production volumes necessary to be considered a serious contender.

Regardless of whether TF battery manufacturers manage to succeed on their own or with the support of larger players, they will only be able to do so if they can provide batteries that are compatible with the needs of wearable devices. Flexibility alone is not sufficient, and suppliers that tried and failed to conquer the RFID space will need to develop new types of products that will work well in watches and other wearables. The companies who have been in the printed battery business the longest are not necessarily in a good position to succeed in getting their products into wearable devices.

Imprint Energy looks like the TF battery firm most likely to succeed in the wearable electronics market, because its printed zinc batteries can address the need to provide long-lasting, flexible batteries that can be recharged. The solid polymer electrolyte allows Imprint’s batteries to be rechargeable, something that has been a challenge for zinc batteries and is an enabling feature for wearable devices. Disposable printed batteries really aren’t suitable here.

Imprint’s Zincpoly™ technology is also less toxic compared to lithium ion batteries, a factor that is critical in medical implants but also provides an advantage in perception of safety for wearable devices marketed to consumers. This should help Imprint market its technology.

Although Imprint’s technology is compelling for the wearables market, it is a small company without the resources to scale up to high volume manufacturing. A likely scenario is for it to follow the path of collaboration, either developing a partnership with a company that has sufficient manufacturing facilities or licensing its technology.

The Future of Batteries in Wearable Devices

The market for batteries in wearable devices is currently relatively small, but NanoMarkets forecasts significant growth in this sector, with revenue more than tripling over the next two years and increasing more dramatically through the end of the decade. This means potential opportunities for companies that can provide flexible, rechargeable batteries that can conform to whatever form factors the OEMs dream up and have reasonable power and battery life. If small companies want to get in on the action, they will need to act quickly before the OEMs start producing their own batteries custom-made to work with their specific products.

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