Flex meets about 75% of the world's demand of wearables. We work with our partners to design and build wearable technology for the fitness, medical, industrial and textiles industries. Wearable devices are designed to capture unique data from each person so they can use that data to support a healthier lifestyle, efficiently monitor health conditions, or bring new “Dick Tracy” or "007 - James Bond" type capabilities to established product categories.
Wearables can help people record how many steps they have taken or how many calories someone has burned over the course of the day. Wearable devices can improve the quality of someone’s life by enhancing their hearing with an unobtrusive hearing aid, measuring their heartbeat to monitor exertion or reminding someone via smartwatch it’s time to get to their next meeting. The whole concept of a “wearable” is expanding as new devices are available in different forms that provide a range of functions. While the idea started with clip-on pedometers, it’s expanded to fashionable wristbands, rings or smartwatches, and can even be embedded into jackets, shoes or a motorcycle helmet that will give someone the equivalent of eyes in the back of their head.
Flex’s Sketch-to-ScaleTM platform gives manufactures an optimal opportunity to create smarter solutions and provide limitless options for creating wearable technology by combining intelligent manufacturing techniques with unique product innovations including flexible circuits, 3D printed circuit boards and stretchable sensors. Flex is in the forefront of designing and manufacturing wearable devices world-wide that deliver brand-new capabilities in compact form-factors.
Why Wearable Technology?
Wearable technology is more than just a trendy set of eyewear or a fancy pair of headphones. Wearables are intended to enhance the Intelligence of Things by adding new capabilities to the human body. Wearable devices are loaded with smart sensors and generally have the ability to connect to the broader Internet of Things via wireless connection using an app on a smartphone or web page. Some of these smart sensors connect to a person (or a pet) and then provide valuable information to monitor, including heart rate, breathing patterns or temperature fluctuation. This type of information can be very crucial when trying to diagnose diseases or treat chronic ailments.
Some wearables let users experience augmented reality (AR) that presents real-time data to the user with simple voice activation. For example, augmented reality (AR) potentially can be used with transurethral ultrasounds in laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (note this is still preclinical evaluation).
Wearable technology is providing value to the millions of people using their Fitbit or Misfit activity trackers, but this is just the start of the possibilities for enhancing human intelligence. Flex’s INTELLIGENCE magazine Vol. 1, Issue No.3 examined various wearable technologies.