The future of electronics is wearable.

So say experts who spoke at a meeting of the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Innovation Network yesterday in Wauwatosa.

“The application could be tremendous,” said Zhenqiang “Jack” Ma, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison. “If you can imagine something, we can do it.”

His optimism is tempered by the understanding that this kind of progress can only happen through unique leadership.

“We need someone who is like Steve Jobs to really revolutionize the smartphone,” Ma said. “Once we have that as a platform, everything can be developed, and then we can move forward.”

Ma is working on skin-mountable electronics at the university that are “as flexible as the clothes you wear.” According to him, the applications of his work are broad: health monitoring, skin-mounted usable electronics that function like smartphones, and stylish jewelry integrated with sensors and other technology.

“Anything you want, people can make it,” Ma said. Read the full story here.