Japanese researchers have developed a new type of wearable – a smart skin patch that can display the wearer’s vitals and many more. Engineers are confident that if they manage to improve the skin patch so that it can match the functions of a smartphone screen, smartphones could soon become obsolete.
The Japanese team wants the next generation of wearables to be as comfortable as your own skin. Despite being often touted as the next best thing, current wearables are not that popular. There are two causes for this.
First smartwatches and fitness bands are too pricey, and second, they are often so uncomfortable that after a few hours of wear the skin has the suffer. This may be why smart wearables have so far been a thing of gadget aficionados and show-offs.
University of Tokyo researchers and Dal Nippon Printing engineers have teamed up to develop a flexible display that can be attached to a person’s skin. The rubber sheet includes flexible circuits and wirings and a system of microLeds.
Smart Skin Patch Needs to Be Improved
The ultra-thin display, however, can only show icons and simple texts as the micorLEDs do not allow more complex images to be displayed. The stick-to-skin display can be enlarged by 45%, which makes it accommodative to any type of user.
Researchers claim that it is also very comfortable as users can wear it for a week continuously without the skin fighting back through inflammation or red spots. The invention is perfect for those that seek to stay connected 24/7 even when at work.
The display will be initially used in the health care sphere, where patients will be able to keep an eye on their vital signs. Medical staff will also benefit from the smart skin patch, as they will be able to track patients’ status easier.
The company hopes to bring the smart gadget to hospitals in three years’ time. The stretchable display could also replace smartphones in a few years.
Image Source: Printscreen