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New sensor can read your heart from afar, but knows not your feelings

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Are you fed up with your current ECG sensor? Tired of all the mess of electroconductive gels, sticky electrodes and tangled wires? How about this: Britain's Plessey Semiconductors offers an ECG sensor that promises heart-monitoring without the hassle. We've seen similar technology before, but according to the company, the Electric Potential Integrated Circuit -- or EPIC, as it's humbly called -- can read heartbeats even through a sweater; future versions might be embedded in hospital gurneys for constant, unobtrusive monitoring. Like an extremely sensitive voltmeter, it detects tiny changes in electric fields, which means it could also be used for Kinect-style motion interfaces. The company even imagines a future system where firefighters can use the EPIC to find humans in a smoke-filled room. If you're thinking, "My, that sounds just like my Deus Ex dreams" -- hey, we're right there with you.

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