They say the things that matter are normally skin deep, but scientists at the University of Tokyo have decided to shove that old adage off a cliff with the latest, advanced piece of tech they’ve created. Introducing E-Skin, an ultra-thin electronic film that is taped to a wearer’s skin and is completely revolutionizing the world’s notions of what constitutes as . This extremely flexible film doubles as an electronic display unit, offering countless applications and redefining what it means to actually wear technology.
“What would the world be like if we had displays that could adhere to our bodies and even show our emotions or levels of stress or unease,” posits Professor Takao Someya in a press release announcing E-Skin. “In addition to not having to carry a device with us at all times, they might enhance the way we interact with those around us, or add a whole new dimension to how we communicate.” This wearable electronic skin display could be used to host all sorts of data and information about the wearer, such as heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
With E-Skin, the researchers at University of Tokyo wanted to create a wearable electronic device that was thin and flexible enough to minimize impact wherever on the body it’s attached. E-Skin is less than two micrometers thick, enabling it to be applied and worn with little fuss while displaying electronic information. To develop the film, researchers alternated layers of inorganic and organic materials, like Silicon Oxynitrite and Parylene, to create a protective film that blocks water or oxygen from permeating it, extending its lifetime. The display element is possible thanks to transparent indium tin oxide electrodes that attach to the substrate of the film without damaging it. If all this scientific stuff is as out of your wheelhouse as it is mine, check out the video below which illustrates E-Skin in action.