Microwave-Enabled Wearables: Underpinning Technologies, Integration Platforms, and Next-Generation Roadmap

Mahmoud Wagih*, Leonardo Balocchi, Francesca Benassi, Nuno B. Carvalho, Jung-Chih Chiao, Ricardo Correia, Alessandra Costanzo, Yepu Cui, Dimitra Georgiadou, Carolina Gouveia, Jasmin Grosinger, John S. Ho, Kexin Hu, Abiodun Komolafe, Sam Lemey, Caroline Loss, Gaetano Marrocco, Paul Mitcheson, Valentina Palazzi, Nicoletta PanunzioGiacomo Paolini, Pedro Pinho, Josef Preishuber-Pflügl, Yasser Qaragoez, Hamed Rahmani, Hendrik Rogier, Jose Romero Lopera, Luca Roselli, Dominique Schreurs, Manos Tentzeris, Xi Tian, Russel Torah, Ricardo Torres, Patrick Van Torre, Dieff Vital, Steve Beeby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a holistic and authoritative review of the role of microwave technologies in enabling a new generation of wearable devices. A human-centric Internet of Things (IoT) covering remote healthcare, distributed sensing, and consumer electronics, calls for high-performance wearable devices integrated into clothing, which require interdisciplinary research efforts to emerge. Microwaves, the “interconnect” of wireless networks, can enable, rather than solely connect, the next generation of autonomous, sustainable, and wearable-friendly electronics. First, enabling technologies including wireless power transmission and RF energy harvesting, backscattering and passive communication, RFID, and electromagnetic sensing are reviewed. We then discuss the key integration platforms, covering smart fabrics and electronic textiles, additive manufacturing, printed electronics, natively-flexible and organic RF semiconductors, and fully-integrated CMOS systems, where opportunities for hybrid integration are highlighted. The emerging research trends, from mmWave 6G, RF sensing and imaging, to healthcare applications including neural implants, drug delivery, and safety upon exposure to microwaves are re-visited and discussed, presenting a future roadmap for interdisciplinary research towards sustainable and reliable next-generation wearables.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9983811
Pages (from-to)193-226
Number of pages34
JournalIEEE Journal of Microwaves
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Wearable computers
  • Rectennas
  • Sensors
  • Microwave circuits
  • Microwave technology
  • Radio frequency
  • Microwave imaging

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing


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