Continuing efforts to more seamlessly integrate biosensors with our bodies, Princeton University researchers developed a temporary tattoo-like platform for "epidermal electronics." Nanoengineer Michael McAlpine and his colleagues published their work in last week's issue of the journal Science
. From Science News:
The electronic components — which can include light-emitting diodes, solar cells, transistors and antennae, among other things — were all constructed in a malleable net of wavy S-shapes similar to old-fashioned coiled telephone cords, which allows the circuits to work when stretched in any direction.
The researchers sandwiched these components between two protective layers of polyimide, a type of polymer. These layers sit on top of a rubbery silicone film that adheres to skin with weak chemical bonds. The device can also be applied in a temporary tattoo, which both disguises the grid and makes it stick longer.
Rogers is focused on medical applications for the electronic skin. But the basic building blocks of the system can be configured in many ways for widely different uses, he says.
“I think creative folks out there will think of things we haven’t even contemplated,” Rogers says.
For example, the technology has drawn the interest of security-minded people who might be interested in using the electronics to develop a covert communication system. “CIA and others have been interested,” Rogers says. A tiny hidden patch of electronics on the throat, for instance, could allow two agents to covertly communicate with one another. The electronics could detect and transmit muscle activity that represents words, all without the person making a sound.
"Computers Get Under Our Skin
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
If you are camping during rainy season, or just want a TSA-approved lighter, these plasma torches make perfect travel companions. These gas-free lighters create a small plasma beam that’s safer than butane to use and more environmentally friendly. It creates a super-hot, splashproof flame so you can get a campfire going, or have a smoke […]
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]