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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Wearables might not have taken off as much as anyone hoped but companies are still experimenting with new technologies that help us monitor and track our health better than before.

 

Apparently there’s a common problem with health-tracking devices like smart watches and the other things that strap around your wrist, like Fitbits and so such, and I’m not just talking about the fact that many of them have just one sensor to monitor most of your vitals which means they’re not that accurate. Or atleast that’s what a team of scientists at Harvard University and MIT, who’ve developed a new Smart Tattoo think, and if they’re to be believed then apparently the biggest problem with all of these devices is that they aren’t really attached to you which means you’re constantly left hoping your battery or your wireless connection doesn’t give out at a crucial moment.

 

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This week the Harvard and MIT team announced they’ve developed a new form of smart tattoo that places health sensors directly onto your skin, no power or wireless link required.

 

 

The ink in the tattoos reacts to the chemical composition of your interstitial fluid, which lies just beneath your skins surface, and which reflects the state of your blood. In one demonstration of the new technology a green ink in one of the smart tattoos grows more intense to let athletes know when they’re dehydrated, while another green ink turns brown to warn diabetics when their glucose levels go up, and you can probably already start seeing the tech’s advantages. And unlike that tattoo you got on a wild night in college, you’re not stuck with it.

 

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As for what’s next, well the teams plan on making tattoos that only last for as long as you want them to, as well as ones that could be invisible until they’re subjected to certain kinds of light so you don’t have to explain your ink to your friends, and if you weren’t sure what the symbols on your new tattoo mean, well, there’s an app for that that will tell you exactly how you’re doing. So, who knows, maybe these are tattoo’s that one day even parents will approve of…

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, award winning Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute, a global futures think tank, is described as "The Adviser behind the Advisers." Regularly featured on AP, CNBC, Discovery and RT, his ability to identify and track hundreds of game changing emerging technologies, and explain their impact on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past five years running as one of the world's foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive future. A rare talent Matthew sits on the Technology and Innovation Committee (TIAC) for Centrica, one of Europe’s largest energy companies, and his recent work includes mentoring XPRIZE teams, building the first generation of biocomputers, helping the world’s largest manufacturers companies envision the next five generations of smartphones and devices, and what comes next, and helping companies including Qualcomm envision the next twenty years of semiconductors. Matthew's clients are the who’s who of industry and include Accenture, Bain & Co, BOA, Blackrock, Bloomberg, Booz Allen Hamilton, BCG, Bentley, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Du Pont, E&Y, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, HPE, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, McKinsey, Monsanto, PWC, Qualcomm, Rolls Royce, SAP, Samsung, Schroeder's, Sequoia Capital, Sopra Steria, UBS, the UK's HM Treasury, the USAF and many others.

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