I'd wear a computer on my wrist would you?

We may soon be wearing our electronic gadgets—from heart monitors to cell phones—as a second skin. Researchers have discovered a way to create circuits so thin and flexible that they can be applied like temporary tattoos.

“All established forms of electronics are hard, rigid,” study author Yonggang Huang, an engineer at Northwestern University, tells ScienceDaily.com. But by using wires thinner than a hair and mounting them in flexible sheets of silicon and rubber, he and his colleagues were able to make digital patches that are as soft and elastic as human skin. The circuits, called epidermal electronic systems, can be rubbed on with water instead of needing tape or glue to attach. And they’re small enough to be recharged with solar power.

Researchers say the technology will be nearly invisible to wearers and could be used instead of bulky machines to record medical patients’ vital signs. The paste-on computers will also let us interact with video games and MP3 players using muscle or voice commands. “Ultimately,” says co-author John Rodgers, they will “blur the distinction between electronics and biology.”

Would you wear one on your wrist?

- As seen in The Week
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