Scientists created a prototype of a super-thin wearable skin device. It looks like a regular sticker but has different kinds of electronics in it. And hopefully, future wearables won’t even be visible.
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Scientists from the University of Houston introduced a new type of electronics that is placed directly on your skin. The materials and constructions used allowed for extreme thinness and flexibility making the device behave just like a regular sticker.
At the moment, there are plenty of different types of wearables on the market. But they all have one thing in common. They are somewhat big, thick and in general, their properties just make you aware of the fact that you are wearing them. But miniaturization is unstoppable and very soon we could see revolutionary constructions that we won’t even know about when wearing them.
The developed prototype is certainly worthy of the designation “super-thin” because even though it is made from several layers its thickness is just a few microns. The construction includes a polymer base on which has a nano-membrane made from a semi-conductor on it.
The device is called HMI – Human Machine Interface and is primarily used to more effectively connect human with machines and robots. And to make the interface more natural and closer to inter-human interactions the information transfer has to be as smooth as possible.
And even such a small and thin wearable can store data in memory because it includes transistors. It can have different types of sensors that can monitor the bodies temperature, the skin's movement etc. Similarly it can work in reverse – it can, for example, warm up parts of the body where it is located. This is especially useful in healthcare.
The most interesting is these wearables could bring these abilities to robots. For example, the artificial skin on a robots arm. When you shake it, it will have normal human temperature and it will know the force of pressing it and even other properties that we humans don’t even realize because we do them automatically.
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