Archive for the ‘wearables’ category: Page 10

Dec 18, 2022

Are brain implants the future of computing?

Posted by in categories: computing, cyborgs, neuroscience, wearables

Imagine brain implants that let you control devices by thought alone—or let computers read your mind. It’s early days, but research into this technology is well under way.

Film supported by @mishcondereya.

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Dec 14, 2022

Robotic heart to replace human transplants on the horizon

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, robotics/AI, wearables

Year 2020 face_with_colon_three

Scientists are working to end the need for human heart transplants by 2028. A team of researchers in the UK, Cambridge, and the Netherlands are developing a robot heart that can pump blood through the circulatory network but is soft and pliable. The first working model should be ready for implantation into animals within the next 3 years, and into humans within the next 8 years. The device is so promising that it is among just 4 projects that have made it to the shortlist for a £30-million prize, called the Big Beat Challenge for a therapy that can change the game in the treatment of heart disease.

The other projects include a genetic therapy for heart defects, a vaccine against heart disease, and wearable technology for early preclinical detection of heart attacks and strokes.

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Dec 12, 2022

MIT’s slimmed-down solar cells would add only 20 kg to a rooftop

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, wearables

Solar cell technology is a seen as a key pillar in our transition to cleaner forms of energy, but within this field there is all kinds of room for experimentation. Solar cells that are thin and flexible hold unique promise in the area, as they could be applied to all kinds of irregular, curvy or otherwise unsuitable surfaces. Thinner than a human hair, a new lightweight solar cell from MIT scientists continues to push the envelope in this space.

The MIT team behind the technology sought to build on its previous advances in material science, which in 2016 culminated in ultra-thin solar cells light enough to sit atop a soap bubble without breaking it. As is the case with other thin, light and flexible solar cells we’ve looked at over the years, this pointed to all kinds of possibilities, from paper-based electronics to lightweight wearables that harvest energy throughout your day.

Despite the potential, the team still had some problems to solve, with the fabrication technique for the solar cells requiring vacuum chambers and expensive vapor deposition methods. In order to scale the technology up, the scientists have now turned to ink-based printable materials to streamline the process.

Dec 11, 2022

A 1.3-micrometer-thin elastic conductor for wearable and implantable devices

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, wearables

In recent years, engineers have been working to develop increasingly sophisticated and smaller electronic components that could power the devices of the future. This includes thin and stretchable components that could be easily worn on the skin or implanted inside the human body.

Researchers at RIKEN, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, University of Tokyo, and other institutes in Japan, Singapore and China have recently realized a new, elastic electrical conductor that is 1.3-micrometers thin. This conductor, introduced in a paper published in Nature Electronics, could advance the development of both wearable and implantable sensors.

“Ultrathin electronic devices can form a conformal interface with curved surfaces, are not perceivable by human when wearing, and do not induce strong foreign body rejection (FBR) when implanted in animals,” Zhi Jiang, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore.

Dec 10, 2022

Soft robot detects damage and heals itself

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, wearables

For years, Shepherd’s Organic Robotics Lab has used stretchable fiber-optic sensors to make soft robots and related components – from skin to wearable technology – as nimble and practical as possible.

In fiber-optic sensors, light from a LED is sent through an optical waveguide, and a photodiode detects changes in the beam’s intensity to determine when the material is being deformed. One of the virtues of the technology is that waveguides are still able to propagate light if they are punctured or cut.

The researchers combined the sensors with a polyurethane urea elastomer that incorporated hydrogen bonds, for rapid healing, and disulfide exchanges, for strength.

Dec 10, 2022

Paper-thin solar cell can turn any surface into a power source (w/video)

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, wearables

MIT engineers have developed ultralight fabric solar cells that can quickly and easily turn any surface into a power source.

These durable, flexible solar cells, which are much thinner than a human hair, are glued to a strong, lightweight fabric, making them easy to install on a fixed surface. They can provide energy on the go as a wearable power fabric or be transported and rapidly deployed in remote locations for assistance in emergencies. They are one-hundredth the weight of conventional solar panels, generate 18 times more power-per-kilogram, and are made from semiconducting inks using printing processes that can be scaled in the future to large-area manufacturing.

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Dec 6, 2022

AI-designed structured material creates super-resolution images using a low-resolution display

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, robotics/AI, virtual reality, wearables

One of the promising technologies being developed for next-generation augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) systems is holographic image displays that use coherent light illumination to emulate the 3D optical waves representing, for example, the objects within a scene. These holographic image displays can potentially simplify the optical setup of a wearable display, leading to compact and lightweight form factors.

On the other hand, an ideal AR/VR experience requires relatively to be formed within a large field-of-view to match the resolution and the viewing angles of the human eye. However, the capabilities of holographic image projection systems are restricted mainly due to the limited number of independently controllable pixels in existing image projectors and spatial light modulators.

A recent study published in Science Advances reported a deep learning-designed transmissive material that can project super-resolved images using low-resolution image displays. In their paper titled “Super-resolution image display using diffractive decoders,” UCLA researchers, led by Professor Aydogan Ozcan, used deep learning to spatially-engineer transmissive diffractive layers at the wavelength scale, and created a material-based physical image decoder that achieves super-resolution image projection as the light is transmitted through its layers.

Dec 3, 2022

Electronic nanogenerator tattoos as human-machine interfaces

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, energy, health, internet, nanotechnology, wearables

The field of epidermal electronics, or e-tattoos, covers a wide range of flexible and stretchable monitoring gadgets that are wearable directly on the skin. We have covered this area in multiple Nanowerk Spotlights, for instance stick-on epidermal electronics tattoo to measure UV exposure or tattoo-type biosensors based on graphene; and we also have posted a primer on electronic skin.

Taking the concept of e-tattoos a step further, integrating them with triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs), for instance for health monitoring, could lead to next generation wearable nanogenerators and Internet-of-things devices worn directly on and powered by the skin.

In work reported in Advanced Functional Materials (“Triboelectric Nanogenerator Tattoos Enabled by Epidermal Electronic Technologies”), researchers report a tattoo-like TENG (TL-TENG) design with a thickness of tens of micrometers, that can interface with skin without additional adhesive layers, and be used for energy harvesting from daily activities.

Nov 29, 2022

High-performance and compact vibration energy harvester created for self-charging wearable devices

Posted by in categories: climatology, mobile phones, physics, wearables

Walking can boost not only your own energy but also, potentially, the energy of your wearable electronic devices. Osaka Metropolitan University scientists made a significant advance toward self-charging wearable devices with their invention of a dynamic magnifier-enhanced piezoelectric vibration energy harvester that can amplify power generated from impulsive vibrations, such as from a human walking, by about 90 times, while remaining as small as currently developed energy harvesters. The results were published in Applied Physics Letters.

These days, people carry multiple such as smartphones, and wearable devices are expected to become increasingly widespread in the near future. The resulting demand for more efficient recharging of these devices has increased the attention paid to energy harvesting, a technology that converts energy such as heat and light into electricity that can small devices. One form of energy harvesting called vibration energy harvesting is deemed highly practical given that it can transform the from vibration into electricity and is not affected by weather or climate.

A research team led by Associate Professor Takeshi Yoshimura from the Graduate School of Engineering at Osaka Metropolitan University has developed a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) piezoelectric vibration energy harvester that is only approximately 2 cm in diameter with a U-shaped metal component called a dynamic magnifier. Compared with conventional harvesters, the new harvester allows for an increase of about 90 times in the power converted from impulsive vibrations, which can be generated by the human walking motion.

Nov 28, 2022

Apple Watch Ultra becomes a diving computer with launch of Oceanic+

Posted by in categories: computing, wearables

In September, Apple announced a new wearable called the Apple Watch Ultra, and one of the company’s key pitches for the device was its use as a diving computer. Now Oceanic+, the app that makes that feature possible, launched exclusively for the Ultra, Apple announced today.

A lot of the features focus on either planning dives in advance or viewing dive reports after you’re done, but for those that you use underwater, the app utilizes haptics to send you alerts. The Watch Ultra’s very bright screen can help with legibility underwater, too.

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