Imagine a world where you can go out, drink as much as you like and wake up without the fear of having lost your phone in the midst of a drunken haze.
A utopian world like that might not be too far away, as wearable technology, like smartphones that are integrated into our skin, undergo development.
Researchers are creating e-skin, a form of adhesive skin made up of electronic circuits that can bend and flex with your skin and muscles. This means that computers could be integrated within the human body, communicating with the nervous system.
It opens up a whole new world of possibilities, like A TOUCH SCREEN ON YOUR GODDAMN ARM!
Researchers from the University of Tokyo have been successful in creating ‘e-skin’ – wearable technology made from organic electronics that don’t decompose when exposed to air.
The challenge in creating e-skin has been in developing an electronic component, along with a protective layer shielding electronics from the elements, that remains flexible. Researchers have based early e-skin prototypes on ultralight carbon-based polymers that are much more flexible than traditional electronics made from silicon and gold.
The team from the University of Tokyo has created an e-skin that is only three micrometres thick, but still able to protect the electrical surface from water and dust.
To put that size in perspective, a strand of hair is around 40 micrometres thick.
Researchers hope e-skins will one day be able to harvest energy from the body’s movement. Other possibilities of flexible electronic circuits include health monitoring technologies and bendable screens, which would be a saving grace for the clumsy, cracked phone screen owners among us.
We’ll just have to wait for now, and hope that our phones still make it home after big nights out.