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Temporary Tattoos Could Enable Wearer To Control Machines With Their Mind

The flexible electronics detect signals linked with brain waves when placed on a person's forehead and can communicate wirelessly.

Emma Hutchings
Emma Hutchings on February 26, 2013.

Instead of controlling a computer with a mouse, you may soon be able to control it with your thoughts. Researchers at the University of California in San Diego, led by electrical engineer Todd Coleman, propose using flexible electronics that can be applied like temporary tattoos for electronic telepathy.

The barely-visible, non-invasive measurement of neural signals would be placed on the forehead to detect electrical signals and read brain activity, and then communicate wirelessly to control machines via the mind.

Temporary Tattoos Could Enable Wearer To Control Machines With Their Mind

Business Insider reports that they are less than 100 microns thick and consist of circuitry embedded in a layer of rubbery polyester, which allows them to stretch and wrinkle on the skin. They incorporate solar cells for power and antennas for communicating. Thermal sensors and light detectors could also be added to enhance them by monitoring skin temperature and blood oxygen levels.

The team are pursuing an application for the electronics in the monitoring of premature babies, as they could help detect the onset of seizures. They are currently being commercialized by startup MC10.

Coleman lab

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