Is E-skin the next big thing?

You may be able to forget about your chunky smartwatch or fitness trackers soon. A group of researches from Japan have created something they call e-skin, an extremely thin film which can accommodate LEDs. Sprinkle an ultra-thin layer of the substance on your real skin and enjoy an interactive digital experience. This brings us one step closer to devices we have only seen in science-fiction movies so far.

E-skin has been made possible by researchers at the University of Tokyo. The team led by Prof Takao Someya and Dr Tomoyuki Yokota have created a high-quality protective film less than two micrometers thick that enables the production of ultra-thin, ultra-flexible, high-performance wearable electronic displays and other devices.

What this means is that E-skin will turn your entire body into an interactive digital display. Although lightweight, the material is durable and can survive hundreds of crumples and stretches.

E-skin contains polymer light emitting diodes, which can be affixed anywhere on your body. Each diode works as one pixel and can emit red, green or blue colour. The multiple diodes work together to create a display. When hit with electrical pulses, the lights turn on and off, mimicking pixels on a normal screen.

“The advent of mobile phones has changed the way we communicate. While these communication tools are getting smaller, they are still devices that we have to carry with us,” said Someya in a statement.

“What would the world be like if we had displays that could adhere to our bodies and even show our emotions or level of stress or unease? 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,” Someya added.

Source: Asia Times

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