Konarka and Textronics Partner to Develop Power-Generating Wearable Electronics
Today's techno-savvy consumers are carrying more and more mobile communication, computing and entertainment devices, such as phones, digital music players, cameras and PDAs. Each of these devices relies on batteries, but their functionality is limited by the available power and the inconvenience of recharging or replacing batteries. By combining Konarka's Power Plastic and Textronics' electronic textile systems into wearable electronics, the companies will overcome the shortcomings of conventional power technologies by enabling consumers to have energy generation ability with them at all times.
“This joint effort will show designer-label manufacturers how we can bring new benefits to consumers through their everyday clothing and fashion accessories, including increased levels of convenience, freedom of use and performance while minimally affecting the garments' overall weight, size or appearance”
According to Daniel Patrick McGahn, Konarka's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Konarka's commercialization strategy centers on partnering around product applications to extend and enhance the functionality of those products. The demonstration products Konarka is developing with Textronics are an implementation of those plans.
"Our expertise with electronic textile materials, components and systems is a natural complement to Konarka's Power Plastic development," said Textronics Chief Executive Officer Stacey Burr. "Textronics' technologies will allow for the end product to have a soft textile-like feel while Konarka's materials will provide the renewable power."
The resulting systems will be flexible and integrated in a way that will retain many of the qualities of conventional textiles, providing an overall consumer experience that is more like wearing a jacket or carrying a messenger bag than charging a device. Konarka's added abilities to provide colored and patterned Power Plastic technology will allow for innovative aesthetic solutions.
"This joint effort will show designer-label manufacturers how we can bring new benefits to consumers through their everyday clothing and fashion accessories, including increased levels of convenience, freedom of use and performance while minimally affecting the garments' overall weight, size or appearance," said McGahn.
About Textronics, Inc.
Textronics is a developer and producer of electro-textiles or "e-textiles," which are fabric systems that can conduct, warm, illuminate or sense. The company's unique technology portfolio uses the stretch and recovery properties of elastomeric materials to interact with electronic systems. Current product technology includes conductive elastic Textro yarns(TM), variable resistive Textro polymer(TM), flexible elastic Textro interconnects(TM) and Textro monitoring(TM) textile physiological sensor and garments. Electro-textiles are used in the apparel, automotive, industrial, home interior, healthcare, and communications business sectors to deliver enhanced safety, comfort, heath, communications, entertainment and aesthetic solutions. The company is a spin-off from INVISTA S.a.r.l., formerly DuPont Textiles and Interiors. Textronics, Inc. is located in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A. For more information, visit www.textronicsinc.com.
About Konarka Technologies, Inc.
Konarka builds products that convert light to energy - anywhere. Konarka is the leading developer of polymer photovoltaic products that provide a source of renewable power in a variety of form factors for commercial, industrial, government and consumer applications. Konarka's photovoltaic nanotechnology is focused on delivering lightweight, flexible, scalable and manufacturable products. Konarka has a broad portfolio of patents, technology licenses and an accomplished technical team. Nobel Laureate Professor Alan Heeger (UC Santa Barbara) is a director, co-founder and chief scientist for Konarka. Konarka Technologies is headquartered in Lowell, Mass., U.S.A., with European headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, and research and development facilities in Austria and Switzerland. For more information, visit http://www.konarka.com or contact Tracy Wemett, BroadPR, at 617-868-5031 or email@example.com.
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