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Electronic Skin

The article “Electronic Skin” presents an electronic device created by John Rogers and the other scientists part of his lab. This device, in the form of something like a temporary tattoo, has the ability to record data about your health: “Placed on a forehead, the device can record brainwaves; on the wrist, blood flow and muscle movement. On the skin of sick patients, it can track vital signs and watch for problems, replacing the bulky equipment usually found in hospitals. And stuck to the throat, it can function as a secret cell phone, activated by the movements of a person’s voice box.” It can even be placed near the heart, where it will pick up information about heartbeats. 

With the size being close to that of a postage stamp, its thickness of half a paper, and its ability to be flexible like the skin, it’s barely felt by the person who has it on them.  

This opens up numerous possibilities- some that are mentioned in the article include the ability to record the brainwaves of a person with epileptic seizures and it can identify throat movements while someone is speaking (helpful for deep-sea divers and spies). With this device, the larger machines may not be necessary.

The article even took it outside of the health world. Coleman says, “If we can monitor the brain signals between teachers and students who are interacting, then maybe we can learn the extent to which they understand each other. That could revolutionize education and training. It’s easy to imagine the possibilities. And if we don’t imagine, then what are we doing?”

It’s crazy what technological innovations have provided for us- I can’t believe how far technology has taken us and how much further it will take us in the future.  

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