Global Market Report From IDTechEx Research on Stretchable and Conformal Electronics 2019-2029

Press Release ( - BOSTON - Dec 13, 2018 - The IDTechEx Research report ‘Stretchable and Conformal Electronics 2019-2029’ provides you with everything that you need to know about stretchable electronics. It provides the most comprehensive and insightful view of this diverse emerging industry, discussing each of the different stretchable materials/components available and/or being developed today, referencing over 60 product types that may integrate stretchable electronics, covering the progress of more than 100 companies and 25 research institutes including first-hand primary research on 62 companies, and providing ten-year market forecasts segmented by more than 14 material/component areas.

This report develops a critical technology assessment for a vast array of emerging stretchable electronic materials and components. Prominent options today include stretchable sensors and stretchable connectors (including conductive inks, yarns/cabling, stretchable PCBs and more). More emerging options including actuators, logic/transistors, energy harvesting and energy storage (batteries, supercapacitors, etc.). Forecasts are segmented by 14 different stretchable component types. The report also discusses drivers and product types around various end user markets, including applications in healthcare, automotive, industrial and consumer applications.

Technology insight and business intelligence based on years of primary research

Stretchable and Conformal Electronics 2019-2029’ is the result of years of global primary research on stretchable electronics itself, but also on its constituent elements and target applications. For example, IDTechEx analysts have covered topics such as conductive inks, in-mold electronics, electronic textiles, flexible/stretchable printed circuit boards, wearable technologies, stretchable sensors, stretchable transparent conductive films, structural electronics and more.

In the past three years alone, IDTechEx have met and/or interviewed at least 60 companies active in the value chain of stretchable electronics, attended more than 20 conferences/tradeshows across the world where stretchable electronic products were discussed/exhibited, and delivered multiple tailored consulting projects. In addition, the IDTechEx Show! is a biannual conference and tradeshow focused on electronics with new form factors. Organizing this event for the past decade allows IDTechEx to stay closely connected to the entire ecosystem, including all of the leading players as the industry has evolved.

Stretchable Electronics: enabling the future of electronics

The electronic industry is in the midst of a major paradigm shift: novel form factors are emerging ranging from limited flexibility to ultra-elastic and conformable electronics. This transfiguration has been in the making for more than a decade now, but is only now beginning to make a substantial commercial impact. This is not an incremental shift along well-established industry lines. Instead, it seeks to create new functions, new applications, and new users. As such, this technology frontier currently only has vague figures-of-merit and limited insight on customer needs.

Many opponents have long argued that this entire class of emerging materials/devices is a classic case of technology-push: a solution looking for a problem. This view may have been justified in the early days, but IDTechEx now see this trend as an essential step towards the inevitable endgame of new electronics: structural electronics. This is a disruptive megatrend that will transform traditional electronics from being components-in-a-box into truly invisible electronics that are structurally integrated where needed. This is a major long-term theme that will lead to a root-and-branch change in the electronics industry including materials, components and the entire value chain. Stretchable and conformable electronics is giving shape to this megatrend. Indeed, it enables it.

Out of the lab and into the market

Stretchable Electronics is an umbrella term that conceals great diversity. It refers to a whole host of emerging electronic materials, components and devices that exhibit some degree of mechanical strain tolerance or “stretchability”. These include interconnects, sensors, actuators, functional films, batteries, logic, displays, etc. each of which is covered in detail within the report. Therefore, the overall term covers technology options which span the entire technology readiness scale. Some stretchable electronic components are already entering various markets, whereas others remain at early proof-of concept stages. Whilst the overall theme remains, IDTechEx expects that the individual stories within the sector will fragment, with some becoming commercially successful and others remaining largely academic curiosities.

This ship is beginning to sail now. Indeed, IDTechEx anticipates that in many cases the winners will emerge within the next 3-5 years. This is why companies now need to urgently establish a closer collaboration between their commercial and research units, and should follow a strategy of touching upon as many nascent application spaces as their bandwidth allows to garner feedback, offer customized solutions, and fine-tune their research direction. In this report, IDTechEx provides a critical assessment of all the existing and emerging technologies. You will learn about the technology readiness levels, latest performance levels, unsolved technical challenges, late-stage or commercial prototypes and associated application targets. You will also learn about the emerging global business ecosystem pushing each technology.

No longer just a solution looking for a problem

Structural electronics is no longer just a solution looking for a problem. Indeed, it is finding commercial use in both niche applications in hard-to-find sectors as well as in high-volume visible products. It delivers strong value in multiple applications, at times as an enabling technology, whilst it remains an unessential or underperforming solution amongst many in others. The application space therefore also cannot be painted with a broad brush as it is diverse and fragmented. The success will be in the detail.

This report provides a detailed pipeline of applications. It covers both niche and mainstream use cases. It critically assesses the latest developments within each sector including latest commercial products, late-stage prototypes, market challenges, anticipated growth and so on.

What does this report provide?

1. Critical review and appraisal of all the existing and emerging stretchable electronics materials and components including stretch sensors, stretchable ink-, yarn-, or wire-based interconnects, stretchable transparent conductive films, stretchable PCBs, energy harvesters, batteries, supercapacitors, encapsulates, substrates, and so on.

2. Analysis of target markets including value proposition, market/technical challenges, real examples of latest products/prototypes, and market forecasts.

3. Ten-year market forecasts segmented by end market (automotive, health care & medical, sports & fitness; consumer; automation; and so on), product type (robotics, skin patches, apparel and non-apparel electronic textiles, and so on), or component (resistive, capacitive, and dielectric elastomer stretch sensors; ink, yarn and wire-based interconnects; inks and transparent conductive films for inks; stretchable transistors, displays, actuators, and so on)

4. Coverage and/or profiles of more than 60 companies based on primary research including in-person visits, interviews, tradeshow/conference interactions and so on.

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Table of Contents in Stretchable and Conformal Electronics 2019-2029


1.1.         The evolving form factor of electronics

1.2.         Technology Readiness Chart: by technology

1.3.         Number of products containing stretchable electronic features

1.4.         Revenue from stretchable electronics

2.            INTRODUCTION

2.1.         Definitions and inclusions

2.2.         Stretchable electronics: Where is the money so far?

2.3.         Why do we need stretchable electronics?

2.4.         Characterising a stretchable substrate

2.5.         Conformal electronic functionality on custom shapes

2.6.         Smart skin

2.7.         Megatrends

2.8.         The megatrend towards ubiquitous electronics

2.9.         Our ubiquitous electronics will be stretchable

2.10.      Technology Readiness Chart: by technology


3.1.         Electronic Textiles (E-Textiles)

3.2.         Most conductive fibres are not stretchable (with exceptions)

3.3.         Examples of traditional conductive fibres

3.4.         Academic exceptions: UT, Dallas: SEBS / NTS stretchable wires

3.5.         Academic exceptions: Sungkyunkwan University – PU & Ag nanoflowers

3.6.         Academic exceptions:MIT: Stretch sensors using CNTs on polybutyrate

3.7.         Yarns for stretchable electronics

3.8.         Commercial wire-based stretchable yarns

3.9.         Hybrid yarns can be conductive, elastic and comfortable

3.10.      Conductive yarns from Natural Fibre Welding

3.11.      Stretchable electronic fabrics

3.12.      Examples of stretchable electronic fabric components

3.13.      Teijin: Piezoelectric yarns for e-textiles

3.14.      Teijin: electronics-on-a-pin for e-textiles

3.15.      ITU: stretchable Ag NW fibres

3.16.      Stretchable fabrics in e-textiles today

3.17.      Design trends to accommodate stretchable electronics


4.1.         Stretchable inks: general observations

4.2.         Stretchable conductive inks on the market (Jujo Chemical, Ash Chemical, EMS/Nagase, Toyobo, DuPont, Henkel, Panasonic, Taiyo, Cemedine, and so on)

4.3.         Performance of stretchable conductive inks

4.4.         Evolution and improvements in performance of stretchable conductive inks

4.5.         The role of particle size and resin in stretchable inks

4.6.         The role of pattern design in stretchable conductive inks

4.7.         Washability for stretchable conductive inks

4.8.         DuPont: latest progress in stretchable conductive inks

4.9.         Encapsulation choice for stretchable inks

4.10.      The role of the encapsulant in supressing resistivity changes

4.11.      The role of a common substrate for stretchable inks in e-textiles

4.12.      Graphene-based stretchable conductive inks

4.13.      Graphene heaters in electronic textiles

4.14.      Examples of stretchable conductive inks in e-textiles

4.15.      Examples of e-textile sports products made using conductive yarns

4.16.      PEDOT-impregnated fabric for e-textiles

4.17.      CNT heaters for photovoltaic defrosting

4.18.      DuPont: Application Examples


5.1.         What is in-mold electronics?

5.2.         IME: 3D friendly process for circuit making

5.3.         What is the in-mold electronic process?

5.4.         Comments on requirements

5.5.         Conductive ink requirements for in-mold electronics

5.6.         New ink requirements: stretchability

5.7.         Evolution and improvements in performance of stretchable conductive inks

5.8.         Performance of stretchable conductive inks

5.9.         The role of particle size in stretchable inks

5.10.      The role of resin in stretchable inks

5.11.      New ink requirements: portfolio approach

5.12.      Diversity of material portfolio

5.13.      New ink requirements: surviving heat stress

5.14.      New ink requirements: stability

5.15.      All materials in the stack must be reliable

5.16.      Design: general observations

5.17.      Expanding range of functional materials Here we will show that IME compatible functional materials are progressing beyond just conductive inks

5.18.      Stretchable carbon nanotube transparent conducting films

5.19.      Prototype examples of carbon nanotube in-mold transparent conductive films

5.20.      Prototype examples of in-mold and stretchable PEDOT:PSS transparent conductive films

5.21.      In-mold and stretchable metal mesh transparent conductive films

5.22.      Other in-mold transparent conductive film technologies

5.23.      Beyond IME conductive inks: adhesives

5.24.      Towards more complex devices such as sensors, actuators and displays

5.25.      Beyond conductive inks: thermoformed polymeric actuator?

5.26.      Thermoformed 3D shaped reflective LCD display

5.27.      Thermoformed 3D shaped RGD AMOLED with LTPS

5.28.      Molding electronics in 3D shaped composites

5.29.      Overview of applications, commercialization progress, and prototypes

5.30.      In-mold electronic application: automotive

5.31.      White goods, medical and industrial control (HMI)

5.32.      Is IME commercial yet?

5.33.      First (ALMOST) success story: overhead console in cars

5.34.      Commercial products: wearable technology

5.35.      Automotive: direct heating of headlamp plastic covers

5.36.      Automotive: human machine interfaces

5.37.      White goods: human machine interfaces

5.38.      Functional material suppliers

5.39.      In mold electronics: emerging value chain

5.40.      Stretchable conductive ink suppliers multiply

5.41.      IME conductive ink suppliers multiply

5.42.      Competing Technologies

5.43.      Printing directly on a 3D surface?

5.44.      Aerosol: how does it work?

5.45.      Applications of aerosol

5.46.      Optomec: update on market leader

5.47.      Molded Interconnect Devices: Laser Direct Structuring

5.48.      Applications of laser direct structuring

5.49.      Printed PCB: Progress towards rapid PCB prototyping using Ag nanoparticle inks

5.50.      Printed PCB: New comers enter into 3D printed electronics

5.51.      Transfer printing: printing test strips & using lamination to compete with IME

5.52.      IME with functional films made with evaporated lines

5.53.      Benchmarking different processes (IME, MID, 3DP, aerosol)


6.1.         Substrate choice for stretchable electronics

6.2.         Panasonic’s stretchable insulating resin film with electronic circuits

6.3.         Nikkan Industries: Stretchable substrate as alternatives to TPU

6.4.         Panasonic: stretchable substrate


7.1.         Introduction

7.2.         High-strain sensors (capacitive)

7.3.         Use of dielectric electroactive polymers (EAPs)

7.4.         Players with EAPs: Parker Hannifin

7.5.         Players with EAPs: Stretchsense

7.6.         Players with EAPs: Bando Chemical

7.7.         C Stretch Bando: Progress on stretchable sensors

7.8.         Other force sensors (capacitive & resistive)

7.9.         Force sensor examples: Polymatech

7.10.      Force sensor examples: Sensing Tex

7.11.      Force sensor examples: Vista Medical

7.12.      Force sensor examples: InnovationLab

7.13.      Force sensor examples: Tacterion

7.14.      Force sensor example: Yamaha and Kureha

7.15.      Force sensor examples: BeBop Sensors

7.16.      Stretchability within skin patch sensors

7.17.      Example: Stretchability in chemical sensors

7.18.      Example: Stretchability in body-worn electrodes

7.19.      Academic examples: UNIST, Korea

7.20.      Academic examples: Stanford University

7.21.      Academic examples: Bio-integrated electronics for cardiac therapy

7.22.      Academic examples: Instrumented surgical catheters using electronics on balloons


8.1.         Thermoformed polymeric actuator?

8.2.         Kurary: flexible transparent piezoelectric actuator films


9.1.         Realization of batteries’ mechanical properties

9.2.         Material-derived stretchability

9.3.         Comparison between flexible and traditional Li-ion batteries

9.4.         Device-design-derived stretchability

9.5.         Cable-type battery developed by LG Chem

9.6.         Electrode design & architecture: important for different applications

9.7.         Large-area multi-stacked textile battery for flexible and rollable applications

9.8.         Stretchable lithium-ion battery — use spring-like lines

9.9.         Foldable kirigami lithium-ion battery developed by Arizona State University

9.10.      Fibre-shaped lithium-ion battery that can be woven into electronic textiles

9.11.      Stretchable Supercapacitors


10.1.      Stretchable capacitive energy harvesting up to 1 kW?

10.2.      Stretchable triboelectric energy harvesting

10.3.      Piezoelectric nano-generators


11.1.      Stretchable or extremely flexible circuit boards

11.2.      Examples of thin and flexible PCBs in wearable and display applications

11.3.      Examples of thin and flexible PCBs in various applications

11.4.      Printed pliable and stretchable circuit boards

11.5.      Stretchable meandering interconnects

11.6.      Stretchable printed circuits boards

11.7.      Examples of fully circuits on stretchable PCBs

11.8.      Stretchable Electronics from Fraunhofer IZM

11.9.      Stretchable actually-printed electronic circuits/systems

11.10.    Island approach to high-performance stretchable electronics

11.11.    Examples


12.1.      Strategies towards stretchable backplanes and displays

12.2.      Towards stretchable backplanes, displays, and lighting: Intrinsically stretchable materials

12.3.      Stretchable electrophoretic display

12.4.      Giant stretchability in electroluminescent (EL) light sources

12.5.      Highly stretchable electroluminescent light

12.6.      Stretchable polymeric LEC

12.7.      Highly stretchable SWCNT thin film transistors

12.8.      Highly stretchable printed TFT for OLED displays

12.9.      Fully stretchable organic thin film transistors

12.10.    Stretchable displays

12.11.    Towards stretchable backplanes, displays, and lighting sources: Rigid islands connected by stretchable regions

12.12.    Stretchable passive-matrix RGB LED display

12.13.    A fully printed stretchable platform for electronics including LED matrix displays

12.14.    General procedures of making high performance IGZO TFT on highly flexible substrate

12.15.    Highly stretchable IGZO TFTs on stiffness-graded substrates

12.16.    High performance IGZO TFTs with 50% stretchability

12.17.    Towards stretchable backplanes, displays, and lighting: Wavy and/or pre-stretched substrates

12.18.    Ultrathin stretchable polymeric OLED display

12.19.    Highly stretchable IGZO TFTs on wavy elastomeric substrates


13.1.      Stretchable thin film transistors

13.2.      Crystalline stretchable high-performance circuits

13.3.      Examples of crystalline stretchable high-performance circuits

13.4.      Latest progress with electronic skin

13.5.      Artificial skin sensors based on stretchable silicon

13.6.      Stretchable LED lighting arrays

13.7.      Ultra-thin flexible silicon chips

13.8.      Ultra thin silicon wafers: top-down thinning

13.9.      Ultra thin silicon wafers: Silicon-on-Insulator

13.10.    Ultra thin silicon wafers: ChipFilmTM approach

14.          MARKETS

14.1.      Key markets for stretchable electronics

14.2.      Skin patches

14.3.      Apparel

14.4.      Other textile applications

14.5.      Medical devices

14.6.      Consumer electronic devices

14.7.      Market pilots with early prototypes

14.8.      The EC STELLA project

14.9.      Pressure monitoring in an insole

14.10.    Compression garments

14.11.    Wireless activity monitor

15.          FORECASTS

15.1.      Number of products containing stretchable electronic features

15.2.      Number of products: stretchable sensors

15.3.      Number of products: stretchable connectors

15.4.      Number of products: emerging stretchable components

15.5.      Number of products: in mold electronics (IME)

15.6.      Revenue from stretchable electronics

15.7.      Revenue: Stretchable sensors

15.8.      Revenue: Stretchable connectors

15.9.      Revenue: Emerging stretchable components

15.10.    Revenue: In mold electronics


16.1.      Agfa

16.2.      Bando Chemical

16.3.      Bebop Sensors

16.4.      Breath

16.5.      Canatu

16.6.      Chasm

16.7.      Clothing+ (Jabil)

16.8.      CorTec GmbH

16.9.      DuPont

16.10.    EMS/ Nagase

16.11.    Forciot Ltd

16.12.    Forster Rohner Textile Innovations

16.13.    Fujifilm

16.14.    Fujikura Kasai

16.15.    Henkel

16.16.    Heraeus

16.17.    Hexoskin

16.18.    Hitachi Chemical

16.19.    Holst Centre

16.20.    Infinite Corridor Technology

16.21.    Liquid Wire

16.22.    mc10

16.23.    Nagase

16.24.    Ohmatex

16.25.    Panasonic

16.26.    Piezotech

16.27.    Poly-Ink

16.28.    Polymatech

16.29.    Sensing Tex

16.30.    Showa Denko

16.31.    StretchSense

16.32.    Tactotek

16.33.    Textronics (adidas)

16.34.    T-Ink

16.35.    Toray

16.36.    Toyobo

16.37.    University of Tokyo

16.38.    Vista Medical

16.39.    Wearable Life Sciences

17.          APPENDIX

17.1.      List of 25 universities mentioned in this report

17.2.      List of 87 companies mentioned in this report

Media Contact:
Charlotte Martin
Marketing & Research Co-ordinator
+44(0)1223 812300

Source : IDTechEx
Business Info :

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