Calling all couch potatoes: this finger wrap can let you power electronics while you sleep

A new wearable device turns the touch of a finger into a source of power for small electronics and sensors. Engineers at the University of California San Diego developed a thin, flexible strip that can be worn on a fingertip and generate small amounts of electricity when a person’s finger sweats or presses on it. What’s special about this sweat-fueled device is that it generates power even while the wearer is asleep or sitting still.

NUS engineers devise novel approach to wirelessly power multiple wearable devices using a single source

Researchers from NUS have come up with a way to use one single device – such as a mobile phone or smart watch – to wirelessly power up to 10 wearables on a user. This novel method uses the human body as a medium for transmitting power. Their system can also harvest unused energy from electronics in a typical home or office environment to power the wearables.

A flexible screen-printed rechargeable battery with up to 10 times more power than state of the art

A team of researchers has developed a flexible, rechargeable silver oxide-zinc battery with a five to 10 times greater areal energy density than state of the art. The battery also is easier to manufacture; while most flexible batteries need to be manufactured in sterile conditions, under vacuum, this one can be screen printed in normal lab conditions. The device can be used in flexible, stretchable electronics for wearables as well as soft robotics.

Clothing, Tattoos Could Be Used to Monitor Patient Health

A shirt that monitors your blood pressure or a pair of socks that can keep track of your cholesterol levels might be just a few years away from becoming reality. In Applied Physics Reviews, researchers examine the use of microfibers and nanofibers as wearable monitors that could keep track of a patient’s vital signs. The microfiber- and nanofiber-based technology addresses growing concerns in the medical community about monitoring chronic illnesses as the population ages.

Material scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift

A new 3D-printing method will make it easier to manufacture and control the shape of soft robots, artificial muscles and wearable devices. By controlling the printing temperature of liquid crystal elastomer, researchers have shown they can control the material’s stiffness and ability to contract.

Paper-Based Device Provides Low-Power, Long-Term Method for Analyzing Sweat

Researchers at North Carolina State University have constructed a paper-based device as a model of wearables that can collect, transport and analyze sweat in next-generation wearable technology. Using a process known as capillary action, akin to water transport in plants, the device uses evaporation to wick fluid that mimics the features of human sweat to a sensor for up to 10 days or longer. They discuss their work in the journal Biomicrofluidics.

Toward a low-cost, low-power wearable sensor for temperature and respiration

Engineers at the University of California San Diego are developing low-cost, low-power wearable sensors that can measure temperature and respiration–key vital signs used to monitor COVID-19. The devices would transmit data wirelessly to a smartphone, and could be used to monitor patients for viral infections that affect temperature and respiration in real time. The research team plans to develop a device and a manufacturing process in just 12 months.

Researchers work on early warning system for COVID-19

To better understand early signs of coronavirus and the virus’ spread, physicians around the country and data scientists at UC San Diego are working together to use a wearable device to monitor more than 12,000 people, including thousands of healthcare workers. The effort has started at hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area and at the University of West Virginia.