PLACE-it – the future of light-emitting flexible surfaces and textiles

PLACE-it PLACE-it, the short form for ‘Platform for Large Area Conformable Electronics by InTegration‘ is a newly formed initiative under the umbrella of the European Commission under its Seventh Framework Program.

With a budget of around $15 million a consortium of leading companies and institutes in lighting and flexible electronics like Holst Centre/TNO, IMEC, Freudenberg, TU Berlin, Ohmatex under the lead of Philips with it’s inventive technology called ‘Lumalive‘ aims to develop an integration platform of foil, elastic and fabric optoelectronic technologies, formulate industry design guidelines for light-emitting flexible surfaces and textiles and will make their work presentable with demonstrators.

Until now, large area electronics R&D has been carried out independently for flexible, elastic and fabric based technologies‘ says Liesbeth van Pieterson, senior scientist at Philips Research and project leader of PLACE-it.

Bending light is a fascinating area which never fails to attract the attention from people who had the opportunity to see such demonstration objects close up. But bending light is one of the great challenges in the soft, flexible and wearable space, technology and manufacturing challenges need to be addressed in a coordinated way.

PLACE-it is a high profile project that might be able to place illuminated fabrics into the hands of future fashion designer to design clothing that sparkle, that change instantly colors at will.

The PLACE-it project will run for the next 3.5 years, a long time view for illuminated textiles but at last, there should be some flexible light at the end of the tunnel by 2013.

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