I just wanted to say, before you get stuck into this article, the image isn’t actually the tech that I’m talking about – I just found a cool image because there were no images I could use of the actual thing I’m talking about under a Creative Commons license!
If you’ve been watching the latest new series that’s taking Netflix by storm, then you’ll know all about Altered Carbon.
This Sci-Fi series is set way in the future, but right now in 2018, we’re seeing scientists producing state-of-the-art electronic “smart skin” devices which are set to be used for a range of informative factors that will help experts in the future.
What Can Smart Skin Do?
Researchers recently told the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Austin that the new tech can be used for monitoring the biochemistry of sweating sports players and the health of stroke patients, as well as the heartbeat of sick babies.
It’s basically been explained to the likes of you and me as ‘a suit of ultra-thin new stretchable and flexible sensors that stick directly to the skin and move with it.’
John Rogers, who is the professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, Chicago was talking about the new development recently and said: “Stretchable electronics allow us to see what is going on inside people’s bodies at a level traditional wearables simply cannot achieve.” Sound pretty cool right?
One of the devices they’ve created is going to be worn by the Seattle Mariners baseball team during their spring training sessions. It’ll be used to measure the sweat that breaks the skin as a way of establishing how the body responds to exercise.
How Does Smart Skin Work?
Basically, sweat is kind of filtered through the device’s microscopic channels and then into various compartments; at this point, chemical reactions cause visible colour changes, as concentrations of proteins and electrolytes in the sweat differ with exercise.
Like me, you’re probably thinking, why does this matter? – but don’t worry, because Prof Rogers explains this here: “Most people want to know if they are losing a lot of chloride, a little bit, or almost none, they can just eyeball the device and determine if their electrolyte levels are high, medium, or low.”
I reckon I’d break this new tech at a body pump session with the amount that I sweat!