Graphene-based wearables displayed at Mobile World Congress 2019

Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) has developed a new device, which enables users to monitor their exposure level to sunlight through a UV sensor. The transparent, flexible device carries a disposable patch, which makes it connect to a mobile device and alerts the user once he reached a defined threshold of sun exposure.

ICFO is developing a fitness band to measure heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen saturation and temperature, using this same core technology as the UV patch.

ICFO exhibited these wearables at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, Feb. 25-28, 2019, in Barcelona. At MWC it also showcased two other light-based graphene technologies, a single pixel spectrometer and a graphene-enabled hyperspectral image sensor, both with broadband capabilities beyond what was once perceived possible without the use of bulky photodetection systems.

The tiny, graphene-based sensor, which is made up of hundreds of thousands of photodetectors and is built into a smartphone camera, is highly sensitive to UV and IR light, allowing the phone to see more than what’s visible to the human eye. “This technology would allow users in the supermarket to hold the camera to fruit and infer which is the freshest piece,” said Frank Koppens, group leader at ICFO. “Or, in a more extreme example, the camera could be used for driving in dangerously dense fog by providing augmented outlines of surrounding vehicles on the windscreen.”