Imagine this: You're sitting in your living room watching the season premiere of "Game of Thrones" when suddenly you get a text message from your 2-month-old daughter saying her diaper needs to be changed. No, she's not a super-smart infant who learned how to text at birth -- but her diaper is pretty smart and it knows when it's wet and needs your help -- even if winter is finally coming right this second.
That future that might be possible, thanks to a new invention from Takao Someya and a team of researchers at the University of Tokyo. This team, in July 2013, announced in the journal Nature that they'd come up with flexible circuits, thinner than a piece of plastic wrap, that could be implanted in the body to monitor body temperature or blood pressure or implanted on the roof of the mouth to be used as a touch pad for quadriplegics.
Now, they've applied their research to a truly worthwhile problem -- knowing when a diaper is soiled without having to undress the wearer first. … Read more