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Archive for the ‘wearables’ category

Apr 2, 2018

Wearable brain scanners to enable broader, easier, cheaper access to neuroimaging

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, wearables

Coming soon: Advanced brain monitoring “while subjects make natural movements, including head nodding, stretching, drinking and playing a ball game.”


Credit: University of Nottingham ___ This Brain Scanner Is Way Smaller Than fMRI but Somehow 1,000% Creepier (Gizmodo): “It may look like something befitting Halloween’s Michael Myers, but the device pictured above is actually a breakthrough in neuroscience—a portable, wearable brain scanner that can monitor neural.

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Mar 23, 2018

Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, wearables

Monitoring in real time what happens in and around our bodies can be invaluable in the context of health care or clinical studies, but not so easy to do. That could soon change thanks to new, miniaturized sensors developed by researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering that, when mounted directly on a tooth and communicating wirelessly with a mobile device, can transmit information on glucose, salt and alcohol intake. In research to be published soon in the journal Advanced Materials, researchers note that future adaptations of these sensors could enable the detection and recording of a wide range of nutrients, chemicals and physiological states.

Previous wearable devices for monitoring dietary intake suffered from limitations such as requiring the use of a mouth guard, bulky wiring, or necessitating frequent replacement as the rapidly degraded. Tufts engineers sought a more adoptable technology and developed a sensor with a mere 2mm x 2mm footprint that can flexibly conform and bond to the irregular surface of a tooth. In a similar fashion to the way a toll is collected on a highway, the sensors transmit their data wirelessly in response to an incoming radiofrequency signal.

The sensors are made up of three sandwiched layers: a central “bioresponsive” layer that absorbs the nutrient or other chemicals to be detected, and outer layers consisting of two square-shaped gold rings. Together, the three layers act like a tiny antenna, collecting and transmitting waves in the radiofrequency spectrum. As an incoming wave hits the sensor, some of it is cancelled out and the rest transmitted back, just like a patch of blue paint absorbs redder wavelengths and reflects the blue back to our eyes.

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Mar 19, 2018

Injectable Body Sensors Take Personal Chemistry to a Cell Phone Closer to Reality

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, health, mobile phones, wearables

Editor’s Note: The American Chemical Society is also issuing a press release today embargoed for 5am Eastern Time that can be requested at [email protected] or call 504−670−6721.

NEW ORLEANS, March 19, 2018 — Up until now, local inflammation and scar tissue from the so-called “foreign body response” has prevented the development of in-body sensors capable of continuous, long-term monitoring of body chemistry. But today scientists are presenting results showing tiny biosensors that become one with the body have overcome this barrier, and stream data to a mobile phone and to the cloud for personal and medical use.

“While fitness trackers and other wearables provide insights into our heart rate, respiration and other physical measures, they don’t provide information on the most important aspect of our health: our body’s chemistry,” explained Natalie Wisniewski, Ph.D. “Based on our ongoing studies, tissue-integrated sensor technology has the potential to enable wearables to live up to the promise of personalized medicine, revolutionizing the management of health in wellness and disease.” Dr. Wisniewski, who leads the team of biosensor developers, is the chief technology officer and co-founder of Profusa Inc., a San Francisco Bay Area-based life science company.

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Feb 26, 2018

New technique allows printing of flexible, stretchable silver nanowire circuits

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, health, nanotechnology, wearables

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that allows them to print circuits on flexible, stretchable substrates using silver nanowires. The advance makes it possible to integrate the material into a wide array of electronic devices.

Silver nanowires have drawn significant interest in recent years for use in many applications, ranging from prosthetic devices to wearable health sensors, due to their flexibility, stretchability and conductive properties. While proof-of-concept experiments have been promising, there have been significant challenges to printing highly integrated using silver nanowires.

Silver nanoparticles can be used to print circuits, but the nanoparticles produce circuits that are more brittle and less conductive than silver nanowires. But conventional techniques for printing circuits don’t work well with silver nanowires; the nanowires often clog the printing nozzles.

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Feb 20, 2018

Using a laser to wirelessly charge a smartphone safely across a room

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, mobile phones, wearables

Although mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones let us communicate, work and access information wirelessly, their batteries must still be charged by plugging them in to an outlet. But engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time developed a method to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly using a laser.

As the team reports in a paper published online in December in the Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable & Ubiquitous Technologies, a narrow, invisible beam from a laser emitter can deliver charge to a sitting across a room — and can potentially charge a smartphone as quickly as a standard USB cable. To accomplish this, the team mounted a thin power cell to the back of a smartphone, which charges the smartphone using power from the laser. In addition, the team custom-designed safety features — including a metal, flat-plate heatsink on the smartphone to dissipate from the laser, as well as a reflector-based mechanism to shut off the laser if a person tries to move in the charging beam’s path.

“Safety was our focus in designing this system,” said co-author Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor in the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “We have designed, constructed and tested this laser-based charging system with a rapid-response safety mechanism, which ensures that the laser emitter will terminate the charging beam before a person comes into the path of the laser.”

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Feb 18, 2018

Artificial muscles power up with new gel-based robotics

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, life extension, robotics/AI, wearables

A collaborative research team has designed a wearable robot to support a person’s hip joint while walking. The team, led by Minoru Hashimoto, a professor of textile science and technology at Shinshu University in Japan, published the details of their prototype in Smart Materials and Structures, a journal published by the Institute of Physics.

“With a rapidly aging society, an increasing number of elderly people require care after suffering from stroke, and other-age related disabilities. Various technologies, devices, and robots are emerging to aid caretakers,” wrote Hashimoto, noting that several technologies meant to assist a person with walking are often cumbersome to the user. “[In our] current study, [we] sought to develop a lightweight, soft, wearable assist wear for supporting activities of daily life for older people with weakened muscles and those with mobility issues.”

The wearable system consists of plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) gel, mesh electrodes, and applied voltage. The mesh electrodes sandwich the gel, and when voltage is applied, the gel flexes and contracts, like a muscle. It’s a wearable actuator, the mechanism that causes movement.

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Feb 17, 2018

Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, mobile phones, privacy, wearables

A new ultrathin elastic display that fits snugly on the skin can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor. Combined with a wireless communication module, this integrated biomedical sensor system, called “skin electronics,” can transmit biometric data to the cloud.

This latest research by a Japanese academic-industrial collaboration, led by Professor Takao Someya at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering, is slated for a news briefing and talk at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas on February 17th.

Thanks to advances in semiconductor technology, wearable devices can now monitor health by measuring vital signs or taking an electrocardiogram, and then transmitting the data wirelessly to a smartphone. The readings or electrocardiogram waveforms can be displayed on the screen in real time, or sent to the cloud or a memory device where the information is stored.

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Feb 7, 2018

Japan lays groundwork for boom in robot carers

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI, wearables

The next research priorities include wearable mobility aid devices and technology that guides people to the toilet at what it predicts is the right time.

According to Japan’s robot strategy, the government hopes that four in five care recipients accept having some support provided by robots by 2020.


Japanese government wants to increase acceptance of technology that could help fill the gap in the nursing workforce.

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Feb 2, 2018

Amazon’s idea for employee-tracking wearables raises concerns

Posted by in category: wearables

The company has patents for wristbands that track warehouse employees’ movements.

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Jan 31, 2018

Engineers develop flexible lithium battery for wearable electronics

Posted by in categories: engineering, mobile phones, wearables

The rapid development of flexible and wearable electronics is giving rise to an exciting range of applications, from smart watches and flexible displays—such as smart phones, tablets, and TV—to smart fabrics, smart glass, transdermal patches, sensors, and more. With this rise, demand has increased for high-performance flexible batteries. Up to now, however, researchers have had difficulty obtaining both good flexibility and high energy density concurrently in lithium-ion batteries.

A team led by Yuan Yang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering in the department of applied physics and mathematics at Columbia Engineering, has developed a prototype that addresses this challenge: a Li-on battery shaped like the human spine that allows remarkable flexibility, high , and stable voltage no matter how it is flexed or twisted. The study is published today in Advanced Materials.

“The density of our prototype is one of the highest reported so far,” says Yang. “We’ve developed a simple and scalable approach to fabricate a flexible spine-like that has excellent electrochemical and mechanical properties. Our design is a very promising candidate as the first-generation, flexible, commercial lithium-ion battery. We are now optimizing the design and improving its performance.”

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