Scientific skinful – health and electronic tattoos

The Australian | July 17, 2014

By Chris Griffith

THESE days we’re used to seeing the extensively tattooed bodies of our pop stars, footballers and Olympians.

In a couple of years, these stars could also be wearing tattoos of a much more advanced sort. Electronic tattoos on different areas of their bodies will collect data about their heartbeat, muscular output, breathing and hydration levels.

And it may be possible for coaches to know at an instant the condition of any player on the ground in real time.

Indeed, the human body may soon mimic the modern car, which uses on-board computers to monitor engine performance and diagnose problems.

Technology journalists invariably are asked to predict “the next big thing” in tech. While wearable devices such as the iWatch and Google’s when-will-they-ever-sell-it Glass spec­tacles are hotly anticipated, my money is on electronic tattoos. They will profoundly enhance our personal capabilities, and monitor everything about our bodies.

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