The University of Southampton

World-first smart fabric screen-printed electroluminescent watch display

Published: 10 June 2013

Marc de Vos, a third-year student in ECS has developed the world’s first screen-printed digital watch on fabric for his Part III Individual Project.

Marc's work was selected for presentation at the annual Smart Textiles Salon, held last week in Gent, Belgium. This event showcases prototype smart fabrics from industry and academia to a wide European audience.

The watch display is printed directly on to fabric to achieve the world’s first printed smart-fabric watch. The watch is printed layer by layer using screen-printable pastes with electronic functionality such as conduction, insulation and electroluminescence.

The electroluminescent displays were printed by Marc using the thick-film printing facilities in the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre cleanroom.

“Marc has used the world-class facilities available in the department to produce his prototype. Presenting his work at the conference shows what is possible for our undergraduate students to achieve during their time here,” says his supervisor Dr Russel Torah, Senior Research Fellow in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

Marc, who has just completed the third-year of his four-year MEng degree in Electromechanical Engineering, commented: “The project has given me the chance to put the theory learnt over the last three years into practice and led to my involvement in the brand new field of printed smart fabrics.” Marc’s project is a continuation of the development of smart fabrics as part of the successful EU FP7 “MICROFLEX” project which was successfully completed recently within the department.

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