epidermal electronic systems

A fancy name for wearing our electronic gadgets as a second skin. Researchers have discovered a way to create circuits so thin and flexible —from heart monitors to cell phones— that they can be applied like temporary tattoos.

Historical perspective: By using wires thinner than a hair and mounting them in flexible sheets of silicon and rubber, researchers were able to make digital patches that are as soft and elastic as human skin. These "epidermal electronic systems" can be rubbed on with water instead of needing tape or glue to attach, and they’re small enough to be recharged with solar power. Researchers say the technology will be nearly invisible to wearers and could be used instead of bulky machines to record medical patients’ vital signs. The paste-on computers will also let people interact with video games and MP3 players using muscle or voice commands. According to co-author John Rodgers, they will “blur the distinction between electronics and biology.”

NetLingo Classification: Net Technology