Electronic tattoos

This is crazy mad — super-flexible, self-adhesive silicon circuit boards that can monitor your heart rate and more.

Known as epidermal electronics, they can be applied in a similar way to a temporary tattoo: you simply place it on your skin and rub it on with water (see video). The devices can even be hidden under actual temporary tattoos to keep the electronics concealed.

… Rogers and his colleagues have separately demonstrated that they can add other useful features to epidermal electronics. Solar cells could one day power the devices without an external source; meanwhile, signals recorded by the devices could be transmitted to a base station wirelessly with antennas. In the long term, Rogers believes the technology could provide an electronic link to the body’s most subtle processes, including the movement of enzymes and antibodies, to track the path of disease. “Ultimately, we think that [our] efforts can blur the distinction between electronics and biology,” he says.

The implications for health and medicine are profound. But even for more trivial considerations, the possibilities are truly staggering. Computers that “read” your thoughts are already far along in the testing stages. And a true union of mind and machine would surely create a class technology currently unimaginable.