Wearable Tech World Feature Article
May 19, 2014

Kickstarter Campaign to Deliver Flexible, Wearable Tech Circuit Boards

Wearable technology allows for some interesting applications, but the design of circuit boards can make them cumbersome. Printoo, developed by the Portuguese company Ynvisible, is trying to change that by making printed flexible circuit boards for wearable applications.

Ynvisible is teaming up with BITalino on a Kickstarter campaign to bring the solution to market.

The company has already developed a number of components that can be used to create wearable tech prototypes: an accelerometer, temperature sensor, a capacitive sensor and a light sensor. A Bluetooth Low Energy module is also available.

Ynvisible has already created some interesting applications for Printoo, including an LED turn signal for cyclists, an accelerometer for tennis players, and a “headbang-o-meter” that measure the times its wearer, well, headbangs to heavy metal music.

The company has teamed up with BITalino, a company offering low cost physiological sensors such as ECG and EEG, which can sense heart rates and electrical activity in the brain, respectively.

“Before BITalino, all of these technologies were inaccessible because of the price,” Hugo Silva of BITalino said in a YouTube video promoting the Kickstarter campaign. Previously, such equipment would cost hundreds of dollars, but the company offers kits with sensors that are much cheaper. BITalino sees the potential in having its sensors available in flexible, paper-thin boards allowing for more advanced applications.

So did 560 backers on Kickstarter. The campaign needed $20,000, but got over $80,000 in funding. People who pledged $1 will be named on Printoo’s website. People who pledged more would get greater rewards, including being able to get their hands on the actual hardware before anyone else. At the highest tier, a pledge of $1,250 or more, users would be able to design their own display.

Putting powerful technology into the hands of hobbyists could define a whole new industry of wearable devices. After all, who knew that the people messing around with electronics in the ‘70s would produce companies like Apple?

Want to learn more about the latest in wearable technology? Be sure to attend Wearable Tech Expo, July 23 & 24 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.  Stay in touch with everything happening at the event -- follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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