Wearable tech boosts electronics sector at LOPEC 2016

A smart wristband from Plastic Logic at LOPEC 2015

LOPEC 2016, the leading European show for organic and printed electronics, will be taking place from 5-7 April in Munich, Germany, where the latest products, technologies and trends in printed electronics will be on display. Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearable tech will be among the focal points at this year’s international trade fair, and they 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% each year, with sales expected to exceed €9bn by 2018. Smart wearable electronics will be the focus of LOPEC 2016, and this trend will also be on the agenda for the LOPEC Conference.

One of the highlights 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, at 10:05 on April 6. 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 at adidas are taking into consideration.”

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 Centre 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.

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