Printed, Flexible, and Organic Electronic (PFOE) technologies promise conformable, adaptable, and immersive wearable devices. Yet, wearables today still rely on the conventional components from the mobile device supply chain. So how and where can PFOE technologies find entry into wearable devices? In order to address this, we analyze more than 180,000 patent publications since 2010 globally, as well as for Samsung, the leading patent holder for both PFOE and wearables. We find that while the overall WFE patent pool has been growing at a CAGR of 18%, few of the patents fall into both PFOE and wearables. While some PFOE technology areas like OLED have received significant attention in wearable, other like e-paper displays are overlooked, but offer significant opportunity to address the key needs of wearables.
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