Research firm Frost & Sullivan says that electronic skin will be the next breakthrough in wearable technology.
Analysts say flexible, ultra-thin e-skin devices will combine sensors, microelectronics, and other materials that allow data collection and interaction with other devices.
Already, electronic skin is proving valuable to medical professionals, who use it to monitor patients' conditions and to measure metabolic activities.Frost & Sullivan says an aging population will drive demand for these medical applications.
The research firm says e-skin will replace diagnostic and testing devices in many applications.It is also expected to be instrumental in the development of new applications like smart lighting systems, intelligent displays, and robot control.
Sensors within e-skin will also fuel the development of new applications and business opportunities in safety and security, the firm says, in addition to consumer electronics and robotics.E-skin will largely replace wearable devices in the consumer market, analysts say, and could allow robots to simulate the sense of touch, communicating what they feel to human operators.
"Emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, near field communication, advanced materials, and fabrication will energize the E-skin market," says Frost & Sullivan analyst Varun Babu. "This technology is expected to mature rapidly in the next five years, and achieve mass scale manufacturing and deployment in various application areas."
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