Science

New e-Skin Electronic Tattoo is A Wearable LED Screen

Tattoos and accessories are all ways for people to express themselves and project their inner personality out in the open. Technology has adopted this human need with emojis! I mean, what is a text, a tweet, or an Instagram post without a string of incoherent emojis that supposedly express our inner feelings. But some scientists have decided pixels on a screen will not suffice… but a screen on skin just might!

In a recent study published in the journal Science Advances, a team of engineers in the University of Tokyo have developed a new form of wearable technology; in fact, their new bit of tech takes “wearable” to a whole new dimension. The team created what they are calling “e-skin”, an adhesive electronic patch that transforms the wearer’s skin into an LED screen!

The patch is as thin as cling film, and in order to achieve this level of flexibility, the scientists alternatively layer organic and inorganic material made of Parylene and Silicon Oxynitrate, respectively. This combination protects the electronics within the material from being damaged by water vapor and oxygen in the air.

The engineers have taken a page from the “smartphone” book. After all, mobiles phones have changed the way our lives function; they grow smaller and more discrete, and yet they are still indispensable devices that we carry everywhere. So what if this type of communication was promoted to a brand new level? What if we didn’t have to actually carry our devices at all times? What if these devices adhere to our very bodies? The team says that this technology will have both medical and commercial consumer applications. The patch could display blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and a person’s vitals. Just imagine how many strokes may be prevented with this thing! This e-skin could also show a person’s emotions, his levels of stress or unease. However, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with that… but it does seem much easier than sharing a “Feeling like” status on Facebook, no?