We’re always on the lookout for new technologies of parts and components of gadgets. When it comes to the mobile industry, scientists are continuously finding ways on how to improve battery life. We’ve featured a few projects but all of them are still being developed. If not batteries, researchers are working on and testing new display technologies. We’re still waiting on that foldable display and smartphone Samsung is rumored to be working on. It may be long before such displays evolve into truly flexible displays that you can actually roll into a scroll or embed on a fabric for real clothes.

The idea of such skin-like wearables or sensors is nothing new. Again, we first heard about this kind from Samsung more than two years ago. And then there were the electronic tattoos shown off at the CES earlier this year. We’re still not sure what this technology can actually do but we’re hoping for real wearable sensors that are “smart”, easily removable, portable, or replaceable. We’re thinking something like a small patch or sticker-like form that you can use to track or measure anything. That may be easy to manufacture or achieve but it won’t be possible without batteries.

Perhaps this work by researchers at the University of Illinois will allow the future of wearables because it aims to make small squares of lithium ion battery that can be bent or stretched. John Rogers recently published an update of the design that features thin mm-scale solid state lithium-ion batteries that are “connected using stretchable circuits to solar cells, all deposited on a flexible substrate in one layer and then folded over so that the solar cells sit on top of the batteries in the final device” according to Rogers.

The technology works and so expect the thermal sensors to function as they should—track, log, and transmit data as required.

VIA: IEEE Spectrum