Launching in June from La Roche-Posay parent company L’Oréal, My UV Patch is the first stretchable electronic for mainstream consumers.
The product is the result of years of academic research into how to transform typically hard, rigid electronics into pliable materials that can easily conform to the contours of another object and send data to computers or smartphones using NFC and Bluetooth.
With the technology finally advancing to the point of commercialization, stretchable electronics may soon impact everything from medical research to mobile payments to the way you navigate a crowded amusement park.
Rogers’s method of creating stretchable electronics isn’t the only one-some scientists are working with liquid metals rather than silicon, and others are focused on altering the molecular structure of organic materials to make them inherently stretchable-but for now, it’s the most ready for commercialization.
Rogers, who is moving his lab to Northwestern University in September, cofounded a company called MC10, a Massachusetts-based startup dedicated to bringing stretchable electronics to market.
For the next generation of the technology, both MC10 and Rogers are exploring how stretchable electronics can collect and analyze bodily fluids, such as sweat.
Though MC10 isn’t sharing much information about its partners, stretchable electronics could enable users to pay for groceries or access a hotel room with the wave of a hand or participate in enhanced gaming experiences.