20.11.19

'Magnetic skin' could pioneer control revolution

KAUST
Liam Swanepole (left) and Abdullah Almansouri demonstrate the flexibility of their electronic skin. © 2019 KAUST

Researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, have developed a wearable magnetic ‘skin’ to add new functionalities to natural perception in consumer and medical industries, enabling wireless sensing and touchless interactions for control functions.

KAUST researchers claim that the wearable biocompatible ‘magnetic skin’ features a remanent magnetisation of up to 360 mT and can be molded into any shape or colour, adding tuneable permanent magnetic properties to the surface it is applied to. 

The development does not require batteries, wires, electronic chips or antennas, able to be worn invisibly or clearly on the skin like a temporary tattoo.

Remote control functions can be enabled through the technology, with the magnetic skin able to be worn on a finger or integrated into a glove to allow for remote gesture control for people with disabilities and those working in sterile environments or the consumer industry.

Eye tracking technology can also be enabled through attaching the magnetic skin to the eyelid.