Why The Midwest Can Lead The Wearables Revolution

Why The Midwest Can Lead The Wearables Revolution

We live in a world powered by electronic devices that make our lives better, safer and more comfortable. While most of these devices, including our smartphones, are made up of boxy, rigid circuit boards, the next generation of electronics will curve, bend and flex. These devices will track our activity, monitor our health and enhance our senses. We’ll wear them and, in some cases, implant them.

Wearable and embedded electronics are devices that have the form and function to interact with and be worn near, on or inside the human body. The market for these devices is estimated to grow from $14 billion in 2014 to more than $70 billion within 10 years, according to a report by IDTechEx.

That global market forecast may even be underestimated, as wearables are entering applicability across several major end-user markets, including medical, fitness, infotainment, industrial, commercial, military and fashion. In any case, the industry’s potential has ignited a global race for leadership with companies and entire regions making large investments into wearable and embedded technologies.

One region that might benefit from the rise of wearables the most, interestingly, is the Midwest.

“The rise of wearable and embedded electronics is driven by advances in printed and flexible sensor technology,” says Rick Earles, director of cluster acceleration at Team NEO. “Midwest companies are at the forefront of sensor innovation and many already offer cutting-edge products and applications.”

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