Electronic skins might not only detect health troubles in the near future, but display them for the world to see. University of Tokyo researchers have developed an e-skin that can measure vital signs like your heartbeat and display them in real time on a skin display. The design blends a breathable nanomesh electrode and stretchable wiring with an array of micro LEDs that can output basic images bending with your body. Others know right away if you need help — they’d just have to look at your hand (or anywhere else the sensor works) to get an idea of what’s wrong. The sensor can pair with a smartphone and transmit its info to the cloud, too. read more
This latest research by a Japanese academic-industrial collaboration, led by Professor Takao Someya at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering, is slated for a news briefing and talk at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas on February 17th. Thanks to advances in semiconductor technology, wearable devices can now monitor health by measuring vital signs or taking an electrocardiogram and then transmitting the data wirelessly to a smartphone.
The skin display, developed by a collaboration between researchers at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering and Dai Nippon Printing (DNP), a leading Japanese printing company, consists of a 16 x 24 array of micro LEDs and stretchable wiring mounted on a rubber sheet.
“Our skin display exhibits simple graphics with motion,” says Someya. “Because it is made from thin and soft materials, it can be deformed freely.”
The researchers applied tried-and-true methods used in the mass production of electronics—specifically, screen printing the silver wiring and mounting the micro LEDs on the rubber sheet with a chip mounter and solder paste commonly used in manufacturing printed circuit boards. Applying these methods will likely accelerate the commercialization of the display and help keep down future production costs.