A team of researchers at the University of Tokyo, Japan, has developed a highly flexible, ultra thin electronic 'skin display', which can be used to show the user’s health information.
The elastic display, that fits snugly on the skin, can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram, recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor.
Combined with a wireless communication module, the integrated biomedical sensor system – called 'skin electronics', or e-skin – can also transmit biometric data to the Cloud.
It can be worn on the skin for a week without causing inflammation.
NEXT GENERATION WEARABLES
Wearable technology already exists to measure vital signs or take an electrocardiogram and transmit the data wirelessly to a smartphone, however, the new e-skin system aims to go a step further, by enabling users to monitor their vitals at a glance, without the need to carry a device.
The new system combines a flexible, ‘deformable’ display with a lightweight sensor composed of a breathable nanomesh electrode and the wireless communication module.
UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO
The skin display was developed as a result of a collaboration between the University of Tokyo and Japanese company Dai Nippon Printing. It consists of a 16 x 24 array of micro LEDs and stretchable wiring which is mounted on a flexible rubber sheet.
Professor Takao Someya, the lead researcher on the project, said: “Our skin display exhibits simple graphics while the wearer is in motion. Because it’s made from thin, soft materials, it can be deformed freely during use without being damaged."
Someya says the technology could make a major impact in the health, exercise, wellness and healthcare sectors by enabling live biofeedback.
IDEAL FOR EXERCISE
The display is stretchable by up to 45 per cent and, according to Someya, is far more resistant to wear and tear and stretching than previous wearable displays, making it ideal for exercise.
The e-skin is built on a structure which is designed to minimise the stress resulting from stretching on the juncture of hard materials, such as the micro LEDs, which has been a leading cause of damage on other models.
The team at the University of Tokyo is looking to bring the integrated skin display to the market within the next three years with a view to promoting it to researchers and consumers.