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Medicine Technology

Bionic Skin: the Killer App For Flexible Electronics 46

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the who-wouldn't-wear-cyber-skin dept.
the_newsbeagle writes "Most of the researchers who work on flexible electronics imagine putting their materials to use in flexible displays, like a rollable, foldable iPad that you could cram in your pocket. And I'm not saying that wouldn't be cool. But researcher Takao Someya of the University of Tokyo has a different idea: He wants his ultra-thin, ultra-flexible electronics to be used as bionic skin. Someya and other researchers have created circuits that stick to your skin, and that can stretch and bend as you move your body. These materials are still in the labs, but the scientists imagine many uses for them. For example, if a synthetic skin is studded with pressure and heat sensors, it could be used as a lifelike covering for prosthetic limbs. There are also potential biomedical applications: The e-skin could discreetly monitor an outpatient's vital signs, and send the data to a nearby computer. The article includes a short video showing Someya's material in action."

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Bionic Skin: the Killer App For Flexible Electronics

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  • The first adopters will be in the adult entertainment industry.

    "Your skin.... Your skin feels so electric" she said.

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)
      It's like that tng movie where data gets real skin.
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      the killer app will be a prosthetic appendage that sends signals to the biological member. strap it on, or couple it to its twin being used by the webcam person

  • by houbou (1097327)
    You know..eventually, we will figure out how to make a human being, entirely through mechanical means, without the use of procreation. :)
  • ...researcher Takao Someya of the University of Tokyo...

    if a synthetic skin is studded with pressure and heat sensors...

    ...or suckers [google.com]

  • ...and not one of them fit for discussion in polite company.

    ;-)

  • by holophrastic (221104) on Monday August 26, 2013 @07:49PM (#44681905)

    The next time a DIY tool falls, and I block it with my forearm, it'd be swell if the skin senses the impact and immediately hardens/cushions into a bracer/gauntlet to shield my fleshy arm beneath.

  • For example, if a synthetic skin is studded with pressure and heat sensors, it could be used as a lifelike covering for prosthetic limbs.

    If we laminated the whole person, or at least the whole body short of the facial orifices, this might make for an ultra-thin space suit. The suit would be a mechanical counter-pressure suit [wikipedia.org] that uses the suit fabric itself rather than a balloon-like cushion of air to compress the body in the vacuum of space. While whole body electronics isn't necessary for such a suit, it

  • it's not an app! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gravis Zero (934156) on Monday August 26, 2013 @08:16PM (#44682007)

    can we please stop using terminology like marketers? everything new and cool is suddenly a "killer app" which means nothing anymore.

    so please, shove your big data up your cloud and paradigm shift your way out (better use your exit strategy).

    mad? who me?

    • can we please stop using terminology like marketers? everything new and cool is suddenly a "killer app" which means nothing anymore.

      >

      I couldn't agree more. Besides, with the blurred lines between what someone actually means when they say "literally" these days., I'm not sure I'd want to wear anything that's a "killer app". It might be some kind of code slang for "Kevorkian skin". There's already a Kevorkian scarf [youtube.com]

    • by syockit (1480393)

      Killer app here refers to "killer appliance", an appliance which you can't do without that necessitates people to find, or produce, more people just to put it on. (I'm just following Wikipedia's [wikipedia.org] definition)

      This is a game changer for countries with falling birth rates, like Japan.

  • Looks to me like a Smartphone you'll never misplace.
  • Don't tread on me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Monday August 26, 2013 @09:00PM (#44682211) Homepage Journal

    Considering the government's propensity to use any consumer technology to invade the privacy of the user, I'm not all that anxious to use wearable, stickable electronic devices (most likely communications devices). And certainly not "bionic skin".

    I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad I'm getting too old for this bullshit. Good luck with it, though. I hope you do a better job protecting your privacy with the next generation of consumer electronics than we've done with the current one.

    On the other hand, if this new technology will allow me to play racing games in a realistic manner without a kludgey steering wheel controller, I may have to take a look, but only if I can disconnect it from the network.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      I'm not all that anxious to use wearable, stickable electronic devices (most likely communications devices).

      So have you thrown out your cell phone? I mean, if you're worried about tracking devices and surveillance, you should notice how many people carry one voluntarily!

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        So have you thrown out your cell phone?

        No, but I've changed the way I use all consumer technology because of all the spying.

        And I bet you'd be surprised how many other people have done that, voluntarily.

  • if a synthetic skin is studded with pressure and heat sensors,

    One step closer to powered armor?

  • It sounds like we're getting closer to Peter Hamilton's OCTattoos [wikipedia.org] technology. What next, rejuvenation? Man, I'd love that :)

    Life's a bitch, then you rejuvenate and do it all over again

  • I was going to say Mark of the Beast with your personal id and data embedded on your skin, but with the whole "cover prosthetics" line I think I'm going to go with Terminator instead.

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_

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