Smart skin patch listens to your body sounds, from heart to gut 2016-11-22 12:08:15 / CONFERENCES

A new electronic tattoo picks up on subtle noises inside the human body, including the sound of your heart, muscles and gastrointestinal tract.

The skin patch could be used in medical monitoring, to detect irregular heartbeats, for example. It could also act as a human-machine interface to use your voice to control video games.

“Our body generates a lot of different sounds,” says Howard Liu at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “By designing sensors with a lightweight and thin construction, we are able to capture sounds or vibration signals from our skin.”

The device consists of sensors encased in a flexible silicone shell and flanked on either side by electrodes. It sticks to the skin like a plaster or temporary tattoo and measures just 20 millimetres across. You can stick it on almost any part of the body and it will pick up sounds and vibrations from 0.5 to 550 Hertz – everything from a heartbeat to speech.

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