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Wearable Batteries

May 19, 2016

Tough, flexible, solar-powered skin-sensors could be the next step in wearable health monitors.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Cyber skin systems. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Fitness monitors you wear on your wrist are widely available, and there are some devices that stick right to your skin. Now, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Stanford engineer John Rogers and his colleagues report on more complex systems that combine powerful lithium ion batteries, solar cells and censors.

JOHN ROGERS (Stanford University):

This is probably the thinnest softest battery technology out there and it has the natural advantage that it combines solar cells as well. So you’re constantly recharging the batteries as you’re wearing the device, when it’s exposed to light.  

HIRSHON:

They tested a device that accurately tracked skin temperature through vigorous exercise, swimming and a warm bath. Another device used motion sensors to pick up muscle tremors and early signs of seizures. They claim the technology could lead to new forms of health monitoring and other uses.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.