Conductive nanocoating could lead to flexible, wearable devices
Flexible is the new rigid in the gadget world, from OLED panels and e-paper displays to, of course, the adorable PaperPhone. Now researchers at North Carolina State University are hoping to take flexible to the next level by applying a conductive nanocoating – thousands of times thinner than a human hair – to ordinary textiles. Their technique, called atomic layer deposition, grows an inorganic coating atop cloths like woven cotton. The treated fabric conducts electricity, opening the door to thin, wearable devices with the flexibility of everyday clothing. The technology’s still in its nano-infancy, but who knows: maybe a few years from now you’ll be sporting a genuinely playable Angry Birds shirt.