New ‘e-skin’ turns your body into a smartwatch display

What if instead of wearing a watch, you had a light-up sensor thinner than your skin, taped to your hand, that would constantly tell you the time, temperature, and your vital signs? You could simply glance down at your other hand to read your incoming messages. It’s a crazy futuristic idea, but researchers at the University of Tokyo are working to design such devices today. They’ve developed thin-film electronic sensors that they call “e-skin”.

Ultimately, flexible organic optical sensors may be directly laminated on organs to monitor the blood oxygen level during and after surgery.

Lead researcher Tomoyuki Yokota

The device contains micro-electronic components that light up in red, blue and green on the surface of the body. The e-skin gets laminated on to your hand with clear, ultra-thin tape, where they showed it can project numbers and letters, and even measure your pulse and blood oxygen levels during and after surgery.