Interfase piel-tecnologías. Nano y campos magnèticos
Ian says this will all become possible through the development of 'active skin'. This electronic layer could be used for hundreds of different purposes such as security and medical monitoring, changing your appearance and recreating physical sensations. He says that by 2020, the top layer of active skin could be used by women to alter their make-up. "It will be possible to build nanoparticles into make-up that can be aligned with an electric field," Ian explains. "The smart make-up could effectively become a liquid crystal display. Colours can be created by light emission, absorption or diffraction - just like butterfly wings. Any of these techniques could be used in digitally controlled make-up. "So a woman might just smear this smart make-up all over her face, without any care about where it goes, and then push a button. The electronics then control the appearance of the make-up throughout the day, depending on where she is, who she is with, and what she is doing." He added: "We'll have to hope that it is secure against hackers, who could otherwise write messages on her skin."
The lowest layers of active skin would be in contact with blood capillaries so could monitor blood chemistry, including hormones, so these could give extra clues to emotional states. These layers could also permit connection to the nervous system. Ian says: "This might make it possible to record the nerve signals associated with any sensation and to replay those signals later to recreate the sensation. Imagine recording a handshake or a kiss. In fact, this nerve-linking technology allows sensations to be treated like any other computer data. "They could be modified and enhanced, transmitted across a network or translated into another kind of sensation altogether. We could have a much closer link to our computers than we have today.
"In principle, any physical sensation is just a series of nerve signals, and this could be initiated by the computer as a response to any physical act." But Ian sounds a note of caution: "Because these sensory signals can be processed and modified, there will be some areas that are open to meddling by designers."