When it came to screens, for a long time it’s been the bigger, the better. Nothing like seeing Game of Thrones gore life-size, or being able to check out the tonsils of The Voice contestants. But while TVs, wall screens, and monitors were undergoing a growth spurt, there were people in labs trying to make view screens smaller, easier to carry around. And what could be easier to carry around than something stuck to the back of your hand and as light as a piece of plastic wrap?
We’ve written a ton about flexible circuitry and tech tattoos, even in beauty products. Now, In a study in the journal Science Advances, University of Tokyo engineers announced the development of e-skin, an adhesive electronic patch that converts a wearer’s skin into an LED screen. The patch is layered and still as thin as Saran wrap. The layering of inorganic and organic material protects the PLED (polymer light-emitting diode) electronics from water vapor and air.
The University of Tokyo material can be crumpled up and still emit light, which kind of takes the fun out of that temper tantrum. But it also means that patches made from the material can be expected to be robust in medical and sports applications and for use with children. Plus your skin lights up, which is pretty cool right there.