A team from RMIT’s Functional Materials and Microsystems group has developed ‘smart skin’ technology which can keep track of the wearer’s exposure to UV radiation from the sun, and alert them if such exposure has the potential to become harmful.
The technology involves the use of stretchy electronic sensors or a skin patch, and a fine layer of zinc oxide which act as UV sensing material. The wearable tech could then be wirelessly linked to the user’s handheld devices and alert them of their exposure levels.
What makes this wearable unique is the use of rubber, which normally can’t withstand the temperature of processing, over silicone. The rubber gives the device much greater flexibility and allows the device to be integrated into other everyday items like clothes and backpacks.
The research group’s co-leader, Madhu Bhaskaran, said that the technology had application beyond detecting UV radiation, and could be tailored to detect toxic gases such as hydrogen and nitrogen dioxide, which could act as early warning systems for people working in coal-fired power stations.
Another cheap, practical and clever innovation from Australian university researchers. Thanks for keeping Australia clever, RMIT.
[img source] Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
The above story is based on materials provided by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology