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February 3, 2016 AT 5:00 am

Sweat Sensor Brings Wow to Biometrics #WearableWednesday

Sweat

I remember hearing some chatter about sweat analysis in the wearable world a few years ago, so I’m happy to find this report on Wareable about a sensor finally being developed. The team behind the device is a collaboration between University of California Berkeley and the Stanford University School of Medicine, joining chemical and electrical engineering. The device itself is an array of sensors on a board, but there is also a flexible circuit which is the piece coming into contact with the perspiration. Some of the data that can be monitored includes skin temperature, glucose, lactate, sodium and potassium. The great part is they’ve included wireless capability, so the data can be seen on a phone.

The device can be easily placed in a fitness tracker style band or sweat band, making use possibilities huge. Medically you could check levels of certain medications and from a sporting standpoint you could look at hydration. They believe it may even replace blood tests in certain instances, which would be great since needles are not my friends. It appears that this will lead to even more research on sweat and stress on the body throughout the day. What effect will different exercises, environments or diets produce? Check out the team’s paper over at Nature for more detail and implications. It’s an exciting world, and that just backs up why microcontrollers get me so excited—it’s the sensors and connectivity. We are adding more science to our everyday life, and it is allowing us to make better decisions. If you haven’t ever worked with sensors before, a fun way to get started is with the FLORA Sensor Pack. It includes our stitchable FLORA microcontroller and a bunch of sensors to detect changes in the environment. You can look at color, light, movement and location. Plus, you can attach NeoPixels in your project and have them react in certain colors to these conditions. Transform regular clothing into sensing fashions you’ll have fun wearing. Then you’ll just have to face your friends asking, “can you help me make one?”

FloraSensorPack


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