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June 1, 2016 7:23 AM

The world’s fastest stretchable circuit can help in remote-wireless monitoring of patients

Wearable technology, for now, has gone only as far as watches, fitness bands and glasses. While people around the world have taken well to fitness bands—the market according to estimates is expected to touch $1 billion this year—scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are ready to take the wearable market to the next level. Supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, researchers claim to have created the world’s fastest stretchable circuit. The circuit contains S-shaped inter-twisted transmission lines which endow the material its ability to stretch while also eliminating any loss of current. Thus, it will not only be able to transfer data at 5G speeds, but being just 25 micrometers (0.025mm) thick, it can also be used to develop a smarter second skin which can help design a new breed of wearables.

Though it would be some years before the technology can be put to commercial use, it can certainly prove to be a game-changer for the bio-medical industry as medical professionals will be able to use the technology for monitoring patients remotely eliminating the use of a jungle of wires. More than the smart skin, it’s the integrated circuit system that can prove to be a useful invention. Integrated circuits, that small, can be used to develop contact lenses which can connect to smartphones or better function as standalone augmented reality devices. As for the Internet of Things, wearable electronics embedded with 5G are a step forward in integrating humans with machines and the digital world.

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