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Japanese researchers develop 'e-skin' display capable of monitoring body stats

By Tom Walker    23 Mar 2018
The e-skin system allows its user to monitor their vitals at a glance without carrying a device with them / Someya Group Organic Transistor Lab

A team of researchers at the University of Tokyo, Japan, has developed a highly flexible, ultra-thin electronic "skin display", which can be used to display the user’s health information.

The elastic display that fits snugly on the skin can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor.

Combined with a wireless communication module, the integrated biomedical sensor system – called "skin electronics" – can also transmit biometric data to the cloud.

The innovation will provide opportunities for sports science and elite training applications.

Professor Takao Someya, the lead researcher on the project, said: "Our skin display exhibits simple graphics with motion.

"Because it is made from thin and soft materials, it can be deformed freely."

The display is stretchable by as much as 45 percent of its original length.

Wearable technology capable of measuring vital signs – or taking an electrocardiogram – and then transmitting the data wirelessly to a smartphone or other device already exists.

The newly-developed skin electronics system, however, aims to go a step further by allowing the user – such as an elite athlete – to monitor their vitals at a glance without the need to carry a device with them.

The new integrated system combines a flexible, deformable display with a lightweight sensor composed of a breathable nanomesh electrode and a wireless communication module.

The skin display, developed by a collaboration between University of Tokyo and Japanese printing company Dai Nippon Printing, consists of a 16 x 24 array of micro LEDs and stretchable wiring mounted on a rubber sheet.

The nanomesh skin sensor can be worn on the skin continuously for a week without causing any inflammation.

University of Tokyo  skin display  Takao Someya  Dai Nippon Printing 
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