The age of wearable computing is upon us: There are now wristbands from Nike, clip-on devices from Fitbit, and eyewear from Google. We’ve come this far because we’ve been able to shrink computing power from something the size of a room to a box that sat atop a desk, to a smaller box that fits in the palm of our hand, to now an even smaller box we can wear on our bodies. But they’re still boxes, more or less: Rigid devices that stick out because they don’t conform to the human shape.
A startup in Cambridge, Mass., called MC10 aims to change that. The 70-person company is developing a manufacturing technology that will allow digital circuits to be embedded in fabric or flexible plastic. MC10’s approach means we will no longer “wear” technology like jewelry but have it sit unobtrusively on our skin or inside our bodies. “By embedding technology in bendable, stretchable materials, you can start to think about entirely new form factors for electronics,” says Benjamin Schlatka, a co-founder of MC10.