We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Skin Worn Electronics that Stretch and Wrinkle

University of Illinois engineers develop an electronic patch worn on the skin that can bend, stretch, and wrinkle.

Electronic chips applied directly to your forehead are closer than you think. Engineers from the University of Illinois have come up with an electronic patch that's ultra-thin and wrinkles like real skin.

John A. Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder professor of engineering at the University of Illinois, led the research on the novel skin-mounted electronics. The patch is a chip suite made of sensors, LEDs, transistors, radio frequency capacitors, wireless antennas, and conductive coils and solar cells for power. The whole thing is put on a thin, rubbery substrate that can bend, stretch, and wrinkles like skin.

Applying the patch is almost like rubbing on a temporary tattoo as the device is transferred from a piece of water-soluble plastic that's placed on the skin. Alternatively, the device can be applied with a temporary tattoo to conceal the electronics.

So far the scientists have only tested their device for medical uses, including Electroencephalography and Electromyogram tests to monitor nerve and muscle activity. The major advantage of these skin-like patches is that you can wear them anywhere, unlike current medical sensors that require conductive gel, tape, skin-penetrating pins and bulky wires.

The researchers also found that their sensor could distinguish distinct muscle movements from simple speech when they applied it to a person's throat. The researchers have even used the electronic patches to control a video game and interface with a computer. So there's the potential that this technology be the future for human-computer interfacing.

[University of Illinois via Physorg]

Like this? You might also enjoy...

Get your GeekTech on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS | Tip us off

IDG UK Sites

Moto G2 (2014) vs Moto E comparison review: New Moto G is worth the extra cash

IDG UK Sites

Is Apple losing confidence in itself?

IDG UK Sites

Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype hands-on: it's an amazing experience

IDG UK Sites

How (and where) to buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in the UK. Plus: What to do if you pre-ordered...