Samsung is known for its great displays, including its curved monitors, but now it̵
The researchers who created the OLED prototype — dubbed a “skin-like health patch” or free form — found that it can stretch by up to 30 percent while still displaying information and operating normally. It’s meant to feel just like your skin rather than a bulky medical device. As a proof of concept, Samsung engineers attached the screen to a stretchable heart rate monitor and stuck it to the skin like a band-aid. Although it is only one application, it is very promising.
Samsung’s Youngjun Yun said in a press statement: “The power of this technology is that you can measure your biometric data for a longer period of time without having to remove the solution when you sleep or exercise, because the patch feels like a part of your skin. You can also view your biometrics right on the screen without having to transfer them to an external device.”
Early tests showed that the device continued to operate normally even after being stretched 1000 times. The design of the Band-Aid heart rate monitor allows the sensor to sit flush with the patient’s skin, plus a signal 2.4 stronger than current existing sensors.
The display itself is made of elastomer, a flexible material that allows for movement such as stretching. It has been specially treated to withstand the heat of the integrated electronics and has a unique grid-like “island” structure. Each island has an individual OLED pixel and the elastomers are each connected to flexible electrodes. Yun shared that “the spaces and wiring electrodes between the pixels stretch and contract without distorting the OLED pixels themselves.”
The technology is still in its early stages of development, but as you can imagine, it has a wonderfully wide range of opportunities for both the health and fitness tech industries. It could be adapted and used for fitness wearables and maybe even smartphones or other devices in the future. Yun even suggests that “the technology could also be expanded for use in wearable health products for adults, children and infants, as well as for patients with certain diseases.”
via The Verge