by Nicholas West, Activist Post:
New biometric tracking methods seem to be rolled out by the day for policing, travel, banking, medical applications, and beyond.
February of last year I covered a development by a company called Chaotic Moon that was seeking “total integration” with their Tech Tats which they envisioned could be used to replace wallets, as well as to monitor your vital signs:
“We carry wallets around and they are so vulnerable. With the tech tattoo you can carry all your information on your skin and when you want your credit card information or your ID, you can pull that up automatically through the system
“Rather than going to the doctor once a year for your physical, this tech tattoo can be something you put on your body once a year and it monitors everything that they would do in a physical and it sends that to your doctor, and if there’s an issue they can call you,” Schneider said. “So the tech tattoos can really tie in everything into one package. It can look at early signs of fever, your vital signs, heart rate, everything it needs to look at to notify you that you’re getting sick or your child is getting sick.” (Source)
However, the above system seems downright rudimentary compared with a new electronic tattoo technology being created from graphene by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. The ultra-thin tattoo can be applied to the skin with water, is almost transparent, and yet could surpass the functions of today’s bulkier wearable devices.
…because the ultrathin graphene tattoos can fully conform to the skin, they offer medical-grade data quality, in contrast with the lower performance of the rigid electrode sensors mounted on bands and strapped to the wrist or chest. Due to the high-quality sensing, the researchers expect that the graphene tattoos may offer promising replacements for existing medical sensors, which are typically taped to the skin and require gel or paste to enable the electrodes to function.
Tests showed that the graphene electronic tattoos can be successfully used to measure a variety of electrophysiological signals, including skin temperature and skin hydration, and can function as an electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), and electroencephalogram (EEG) for measuring the electrical activity of the heart, muscles, and brain, respectively.
But, as indicated below, its applications are not just limited to voluntary medical tracking. The functionality can be integrated into the emerging world of the Internet of Things, Smart Cities and more:
“Graphene electronic tattoos are most promising for potential applications in mobile health care, assisted technologies, and human machine interfaces,” Kabiri Ameri said. “In the area of human machine interfaces, electrophysiological signals recorded from the brain and muscles can be classified and assigned for specific action in a machine. This area of research can have applications for the internet of things, smart houses and cities, human computer interaction, smart wheelchairs, speech assistance technology, monitoring of distracted driving, and human-robot control. Recently we have demonstrated the application of graphene tattoos for sensing human signals to wirelessly control flying objects. That demonstration will be reported in the near future.”
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