The advent of smart tattoos with a flexible battery seems to be the new big thing on the tech horizon. It is a concept which has taken the internet by storm, and the intrigue is growing more than ever before.
Joseph Wang, an executive researcher from UCSD, explains how a new technology has been brought in which would allow for the generation of power without the interference of any external devices, or equipment at all.
The technology associated with the flexible battery in the smart tattoo harnesses electrons derived from lactate and sweat in the human body.
When participating in demanding exercise activities, the body is subjected to muscle fatigue and a feeling of the muscles burning up. This is due to the build-up of lactic acid in the muscle fibres and tissues.
Lactic acid is a byproduct of energy synthesis. It is the lactic acid that brings about the feeling of muscle fatigue. There is, however, no way of getting away from this natural phenomenon, as it is a key component of the metabolic system. Traces of lactate can be found in sweat on the skin as well.
Sweat is among the most common excretory elements which can be found in all humans. It is a natural cooling mechanism of the body. The presence of traces of lactate in the sweat enables the tattoo to efficiently generate energy which is then stored in the flexible battery.
Through enzyme sensation, the negative charges present in the lactate particles can be accumulated, and thus, used to generate a source of power. The enzymes actually process the charged particles within the lactate to the tattoo, where electricity is extracted in minute levels.
This form of flexible fuel cell is set to be a game change over time, owing to the fact that it is the next step in the sustainable energy revolution. The electricity generated can actually be used to power micro devices like smart wearable devices, and Bluetooth devices as well.
Taking the surface area into account
With the advancements in technology seen in the development of tattoos which generate electricity, the size of the tattoo correlates with its power generation capabilities. This is owing to the fact that the surface area which the tattoo covers is directly proportional to the amount of power to be generated. A larger area would mean a larger proportion of sweat accumulation, which in turn would equate to more power being generated.
The electrolytic conversion would be essentially higher for a tattoo covering a larger area which would be in contact with more sweat glands. Having the tattoo imprinted on locations that are susceptible to a greater volume of sweat would generate a significant higher amount of power.
The tattoo, with a flexible battery, is expected to generate power on all parts of the body. This is based on the theory that nearly all parts of the skin generate sweat to a certain degree. The intensity of sweat generation is reasonably expected to vary in certain regions, but that is not anticipated to result in a major difference.
A great resource while working out
For the average fitness junkie, a tattoo capable of generating electricity with a flexible battery cell is a major boost to their being able to keep devices charged while on the go.
Smart wearable devices, like a motion tracker or a fitness tracker, can be provided with a source of ongoing power when the person works out. This source of power can be used as a backup, or upfront power source as well. Either way, making for some truly great technological prospects.
Key components of the tattoo with its flexible battery
The device which is embedded within the tattoo is capable of producing 4 microwatts, while the company officials are expecting a production cap of around 70 microwatts per square centimeter of skin.
The only speculative limitation with the device is the fact that the person would need to pump themselves up to a specific level so that the lactate can be excreted out of the body.
One of the other ways which the individual can make optimum use of the flexible battery, is by wearing it throughout their normal work day. With the device operating in the background for a long period of time, any person can make the most out of it while engaging in their daily routines.
The idea of a tattoo with a wearable battery seems not to cease in amazing the world. Scientists are currently working on a means to allow the manual overriding of the sympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system plays a key part in activating glands in the body, which when activated would then allow the wearer to generate sweat with greater ease.
Effectively, this would reduce the physical effort required to generate sweat, and then convert it to power. This almost sounds like we are becoming a power source for the matrix, doesn’t it?
Current research has also been open to far more complicated ideologies. Some scientists have been allegedly researching an e-tattoos that is capable of reading the mind of the wearer. This would effectively mean that the tattoos will be able to speculate on thoughts and desires within the minds of humans, and also furnish a pretty inconspicuous way of powering wearable devices.
When you couple this technology with the recent advances in neuromorphic learning, the future seems either very exciting, or very scary; depending upon you perspective.