Technology 3 min read

Red Wine Could be Key to Next-Gen Wearable Tech

A type of acid present in red wine could pave the way to the development of more durable next-generation wearable devices.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Image Credit: Pixabay

A team of researchers is trying to kick-start the next-generation of wearable technology. And it’s all thanks to red wine.

The smart wearables market is one of the fastest-growing aspects of the tech industry. According to an estimate, global smart wearable device sales will double by 2022 to become a $27 billion industry.

However, today’s wearables are still far from perfect despite the rapid growth of its market.

Repeated bending and folding of the devices could cause tiny micro-cracks, which results in interrupted conductivity. Ultimately, it causes the device to fail.

Improving this tiny flaw could usher in a new generation of long-lasting wearable tech.

Well, a team of scientists at the University of Manchester has figured it out. It involves creating flexible fibers and adding tannic acid from red wine for more flexibility and durability.

Using tannic acid in materials such as cotton used to develop wearable sensors could significantly improve the mechanical properties. By extension, the treatment could increase the devices’ life span.

In a statement, lead researcher of the study, Dr. Xuqing said:

“We are using this method to develop new flexible, breathable, wearable devices. The main research objective of our group is to develop comfortable wearable devices for flexible human-machine interface.”

Using Red Wine to Create the Next-Gen Wearable Tech

Anyone that has ever spilled red wine, black tea, or coffee on a fabric know how difficult it is to get rid of the stain. That’s because they all contain tannic acid, which can firmly absorb the chemical on the fabric’s surface.

According to the researcher, the excellent adhesion property of tannic acid is what’s necessary to create durable, wearable, conductive devices.

In their publication in the journal Small, the team described how they increased the conductivity of materials using tannic acid.

Alongside using commercially available tannins, the researchers immersed the fabric directly in red wine, black coffee, and black tea. The result was the same.

Thanks to the strong absorption of tannic acid, the durability of the material’s surface conductive coating improved significantly. The fabric also maintained excellent performance after flexing, bending, stretching, and folding.

The impact of this study is evident – it’s a new generation of cheaper and more durable wearables.

Manufacturers using this method can also create more comfortable devices. Aside from allowing tech developers print circuit boards directly on the surface of the clothing, they could also replace the stiff, uncomfortable nylon with cotton.

In the end, we’ll get a flexible and durable circuit board that’s comfortable to wear.

Read More: Wearable Device Provides Real-Time Insight Into People’s Emotions

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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