It is no longer "read my lips"...

Super thin wearable screen you can stick on your skin... Credit: Someya Laboratory

It used to be "read my lips" to indicate that you should pay attention to what I am saying. Well, if researchers at Someya Laboratory at the Tokyo University have their way we might end up with screens glued to our skin, may be on our front?, to display messages.

They have developed a LED screen so thin that it can be layered on the skin and bend along with any skin movement.

It is not their first development of thin bendable films. Actually they presented a whole set of thin film implementation in a Spectrum article last year that is really worth reading and looking at for the many images and multimedia presentation.

Of course I find it difficult to believe that people will like to stick such screen on their face, or arm, but I have reached an age where my forecasting about people sentiment and behaviour are no longer reliable...

Indeed, we have now youngsters wearing shoes with blinking LEDs, t-shirts with blinking messages and it seems so fashionable!  So I cannot exclude that an extra-skin that would provide a way to display messages is completely out of the question.

Anyhow, I can see some interesting application in the labelling business. This is an area that has seen some incredible progress, although being everyday under our eyes we are probably not perceiving the changes that have occurred.

If you just go bak in time, some 20 years, and remember how wine bottle labels were and then think on how they are today the evolution is amazing. There are now software programs to design wine bottle labels that take into account our vision physiology and psychology to deliver the most impactful label. And, as a matter of fact, most people, like myself, end up buying the bottle with what they consider to be the better label, not the one with the best wine...

Now imagine what would happen with the availability of this skin like labels that can serve as screens. You will have the possibility to animate the message on the label and in perspective to show clips on the bottle. On a store shelf you would have the potential to create a large screen by synchronising the images on the individual labels creating an immersive environment. I bet we are going to see this in the next decade (as we have seen dynamic price tag percolating the shelves) and once we will look back at the time when labels used to be static we will wonder how could we ever lived in such an environment.

Author - Roberto Saracco

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