Researchers define new ways of approaching the wearable technological market. While fitness trackers and smartwatches are becoming more and more popular, a team of engineers created the fastest integrated circuits ever made so far.
The research was performed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and scientists believe that this discovery will help people monitor their own physiological processes and evaluate their health issues.
The invention is an extremely efficient integrated circuit. These circuits could be developed to be used in a wearable device and be placed directly on human skin – similar to tattoos.
The solution proposed by the engineers has only 0.25 millimeters in diameter. The platform has a flexible shape and will support frequencies of up to 300 GHz, which will soon become the new 5G standard.
“We’ve found a way to integrate high-frequency active transistors into a useful circuit that can be wireless. This is a platform. This opens the door to lots of new capabilities,” says Ma, the leading researcher of the study.
The 5G is a new generation of wireless broadband technologies that will include wearables. Future developers would need such a platform to expand the applications and performances of their “Internet of Things” products.
One of the most interesting things about Ma’s invention is the structure: the transmission lines are set in a multitude of small curves that are waved one into another. This type of structure allows the material to stretch without being at risk of being torn apart.
This new property does not interfere with the transmission lines. On the contrary, the scientist showed that the electromagnetic waves were flowing without any difficulty or current loss.
Flexibility is of extreme importance when trying to create wearable products that are specially designed to fit the human body’s particularities. To go as far as to say that the devices could be worn directly on the skin is the maximum proof of their flexibility.
This unique property may also help engineers design the ultimate monitoring device, one which cannot be lost because it’s attached directly to the skin. Such an invention will prove to be one of extreme importance in health care.
The research was commissioned by the Air Force Office, which may be a sign that these new technology breakthroughs will be soon put to use in the most challenging human activities – starting with sports and possibly ending with space travels.
Image Source: Pixabay