Most wearables today are bulky and impractical, decidedly restrictive to humans’ natural movements. The goal – to make them more flush with the skin – is withing reach, though. Researchers from Tokyo showed that by developing a stretchable technology that integrates with the skin #objectmagic
Akihito Miyamoto and his research team developed a flexible structure made from hollow, metallic nanofilaments that follows the skin’s contour like a tattoo. And like a drawing on a person’s skin, it doesn’t cause irritation or interruption, letting the skin bend.
Its mission is to monitor health from direct contact with skin, through touch, pressure and temperature sensors. The mesh-like structure sticks to the surface thanks to a layer of polyvinyl alchohol (PVA) that was previously tested for allergic reactions. The new wearable was tested using a battery set near the knuckle. As you can see the image above, current reaches the LED through the conductor.
But the demo is just a small example of what this technology can do. Thanks to the thin film coated in a layer of gold and no more than 500 nm in diameter, it can provide long-term monitoring of a user’s heart health, muscle changes or brain function.
The use cases are much more varied and than in the case of traditional wristband-mounted devices.