Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: Bao Lab

Sticker sensor monitors your body using wireless power

It wouldn't interfere with your behavior.
277 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Bao Lab

Wearable body sensors have a common problem: they need power and antennas, and all that equipment leads to bulky devices that influence your behavior. Stanford researchers, however, have developed a system that could be almost imperceptible. Their BodyNet sticker sensor gathers power and transmits data using an RFID connection to a receiver on nearby clothing, making the sensor itself about as comfortable and flexible as an adhesive bandage. It measures subtle changes in skin that provide a wealth of data for the body, whether it's your heartbeat, breathing rate or muscle activity.

The antenna proved to be the main challenge. They only had to screen-print metallic ink on a rubber sticker to create the antenna, but its signals could weaken as the body moved. The scientists had to develop a novel RFID system that could reliably send signals despite the constant changes.

The receiver itself is much larger and uses Bluetooth to send data to a smartphone or PC.

BodyNet is currently limited by the need for proximity between the sticker and receiver. That's fine for the initial expected uses, such as tracking heart conditions and sleep disorders, but it wouldn't be very useful in exercise conditions where you can't count on ideal sensor placement. The team may solve this by weaving antennas into the clothing itself.

There are plans beyond that, too. The researchers are already working on stickers that could use sweat to detect body temperature and stress, and they hope to one day offer a full-body sensor array that could collect data while staying out of your way. That could improve the quality of life for people with health conditions, not to mention help athletes track their performance without limiting their movements.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
277 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
AT&T reportedly considers offloading its DirecTV satellite unit

AT&T reportedly considers offloading its DirecTV satellite unit

View
T-Mobile’s Sprint merger is opposed by 18 state attorneys general

T-Mobile’s Sprint merger is opposed by 18 state attorneys general

View
HBO Max will revive 'The Boondocks' for a two-season run

HBO Max will revive 'The Boondocks' for a two-season run

View
Microsoft plans to bring broadband to 9 million more Americans

Microsoft plans to bring broadband to 9 million more Americans

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr