Friday, August 12, 2011

wearable computing...,

TheIndependent | It may soon be possible to wear your computer or mobile phone under your sleeve, with the invention of an ultra-thin and flexible electronic circuit that can be stuck to the skin like a temporary tattoo.

The devices, which are almost invisible, can perform just as well as more conventional electronic machines but without the need for wires or bulky power supplies, scientists said.

The development could mark a new era in consumer electronics. The technology could be used for applications ranging from medical diagnosis to covert military operations.

The "epidermal electronic system" relies on a highly flexible electrical circuit composed of snake-like conducting channels that can bend and stretch without affecting performance. The circuit is about the size of a postage stamp, is thinner than a human hair and sticks to the skin by natural electrostatic forces rather than glue.

"We think this could be an important conceptual advance in wearable electronics, to achieve something that is almost unnoticeable to the wearer. The technology can connect you to the physical world and the cyberworld in a very natural way that feels comfortable," said Professor Todd Coleman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who led the research team.

A simple stick-on circuit can monitor a person's heart rate and muscle movements as well as conventional medical monitors, but with the benefit of being weightless and almost completely undetectable. Scientists said it may also be possible to build a circuit for detecting throat movements around the larynx in order to transmit the information wirelessly as a way of recording a person's speech, even if they are not making any discernible sounds.

Tests have already shown that such a system can be used to control a voice-activated computer game, and one suggestion is that a stick-on voicebox circuit could be used in covert police operations where it might be too dangerous to speak into a radio transmitter.

"The blurring of electronics and biology is really the key point here," said Yonggang Huang, professor of engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. "All established forms of electronics are hard, rigid. Biology is soft, elastic. It's two different worlds. This is a way to truly integrate them."

Engineers have built test circuits mounted on a thin, rubbery substrate that adheres to the skin. The circuits have included sensors, light-emitting diodes, transistors, radio frequency capacitors, wireless antennas, conductive coils and solar cells.

"We threw everything in our bag of tricks on to that platform, and then added a few other new ideas on top of those, to show that we could make it work," said John Rogers, professor of engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a lead author of the study, published in the journal Science.

10 comments:

Desertflower said...

Wow! This is like a peek into the future! Love this post!

CNu said...

Welcome to the spot desertflower!

Coming soon, computing/communication devices fashioned to look like tattoos.

Uglyblackjohn said...

Chat Rooms then,
Blogs then,
My Space then,
Facebook then,
Twitter then,

People with no impulse control need faster ways to say a bunch of nothing to others who really don't care anyway.
If this allows people to instantly contact others - this is a done deal.

CNu said...

Sho it will uncle John, but that ain't. Got a dayyum thing to do with why it'll be done, no more than nightclubs are built so these humans can sniff buts and bump uglies.

Sheeeeeeeeeittt......,

Nightclubs are built so that somebody can charge admission and sell liquor at an exponential markup - same for these skinjobs....,

Uglyblackjohn said...

Agreed.
But as we gain easier access to others - others have more access to our daily lives as well.

CNu said...

What have you witnessed in the daily lives of those whom you shepherd and shear that has any value beyond the transactional? If these information interfaces draw their power from our biological output, then they're capable of yielding a multiply exponential increase in the topology of human transactional space at no additional charge to their inventors/fabricators/controllers - and - in the process yield a meta-cog

Uglyblackjohn said...

What will end up happening is that a lot of guys will try to figure out how to use it for better porn.

CNu said...

realtime friendfinder in meatspace I can easily see, the prOn, not so much....,

Uglyblackjohn said...

Sabbateans?
You mean those dudes in the movie "Pi"?

CNu said...

Nah, I don't know who they had in mind in that movie, but I don't think it was the Sabbateans.

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