This E-Skin Can Read, Display and Wirelessly Transmit Your Vitals

Digital e-skin seems more and more like an inevitable part of our wearables future. We’ve seen some designs that are intended to read your vitals, some that display information, and even some that can transmit data wirelessly. Now researchers from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering are combining all three into a single product.

Their flexible e-skin is an incredibly thin 1mm, but still manages to integrate an impressive host of electronics. The most outwardly obvious of those is a 24x16 pixel array of micro LEDs, which can be used to display information gathered by the skin—or really anything else. But, it goes behind just showing data, and can actually gather it too.

The soft, flexible skin display is about 1 millimeter thick, and consists of a 16 x 24 array of micro LEDs and stretchable wiring mounted on a rubber sheet. (📷: Takao Someya Research Group)

Embedded in the skin is a nanomesh electrode that can be used to gather vital signs like an electrocardiogram. That data can then be displayed on the LED array, or it can be sent to your phone wirelessly with a built-in wireless communications module. The research is being done in partnership with Dai Nippon Printing (DNP), and the team believes they can have a product on the market within 3 years, which they envision being used by elderly consumers to monitor their vitals.