Forums

powering a LED through the human skin

Started by Lyn October 13, 2006
I am trying to solve a problem of having wires going up to an MP3
player to the earpiece. I also didn't want the weight of batteries,
e.g. via a Bluetooth or other wireless head set. I did an experiment
where I used conductive paint to mark out some tracks on my skin to
replace wires. The conductive paint is very flexible (I put it on my
hand which flexed a lot ) and there seemed to be enough current to
drive a LED throught my hand.
Image here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sensecam/267793137/

Might be useful applications  like powering ear pieces, military apps,
body sensors, health monitoring,  jewels, art etc.
I'm only doing experiments with AM  analog signals at present, not
digital but may in future.
I also did some experiments with powering a crystal earpiece throught
the skin (no conductive paint, just skin resistance)
My question is, has this been done before (i.e .power not just signals)
? (I know about the IBM Zimmerman expt ).   It's seems obvious but a
google search reveals nothing.


Lyn

"Lyn" <sensecam@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:1160729736.647699.58080@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > I am trying to solve a problem of having wires going up to an MP3 > player to the earpiece. I also didn't want the weight of batteries, > e.g. via a Bluetooth or other wireless head set. I did an experiment > where I used conductive paint to mark out some tracks on my skin to > replace wires. The conductive paint is very flexible (I put it on my > hand which flexed a lot ) and there seemed to be enough current to > drive a LED throught my hand. > Image here: > http://www.flickr.com/photos/sensecam/267793137/ > > Might be useful applications like powering ear pieces, military apps, > body sensors, health monitoring, jewels, art etc. > I'm only doing experiments with AM analog signals at present, not > digital but may in future. > I also did some experiments with powering a crystal earpiece throught > the skin (no conductive paint, just skin resistance) > My question is, has this been done before (i.e .power not just signals) > ? (I know about the IBM Zimmerman expt ). It's seems obvious but a > google search reveals nothing. > > > Lyn >
Its a nice idea but full of problems. Skin painting is probably a bad idea from the toxicity of the solvents and heavy metals involved. Also if you have any significant power then the flexing will eventually make a high resistance somewhere and that will give you a burn. Not to mention it would make you look stupid. Why don't you try integrating a wiring system into clothing? Peter
Peter,
Thank you.
Some good points.
Many artists wear silver body paint, so non toxic.
Well it might look daft, but people have tatoos as art, so that is a
matter of opinion.

I'm only passing 1-2mA through skin at present, but your issue on
possible skin damage may be valid.

Re " try integrating a wiring system into  clothing?"
Because its too easy and already been done. Also not all the body is
clothed, e.g. arms, face, neck etc.


Lyn


Peter wrote:
> "Lyn" <sensecam@gmail.com> wrote in message > news:1160729736.647699.58080@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com... > > > > I am trying to solve a problem of having wires going up to an MP3 > > player to the earpiece. I also didn't want the weight of batteries, > > e.g. via a Bluetooth or other wireless head set. I did an experiment > > where I used conductive paint to mark out some tracks on my skin to > > replace wires. The conductive paint is very flexible (I put it on my > > hand which flexed a lot ) and there seemed to be enough current to > > drive a LED throught my hand. > > Image here: > > http://www.flickr.com/photos/sensecam/267793137/ > > > > Might be useful applications like powering ear pieces, military apps, > > body sensors, health monitoring, jewels, art etc. > > I'm only doing experiments with AM analog signals at present, not > > digital but may in future. > > I also did some experiments with powering a crystal earpiece throught > > the skin (no conductive paint, just skin resistance) > > My question is, has this been done before (i.e .power not just signals) > > ? (I know about the IBM Zimmerman expt ). It's seems obvious but a > > google search reveals nothing. > > > > > > Lyn > > > Its a nice idea but full of problems. Skin painting is probably a bad idea > from the toxicity of the solvents and heavy metals involved. Also if you > have any significant power then the flexing will eventually make a high > resistance somewhere and that will give you a burn. Not to mention it would > make you look stupid. Why don't you try integrating a wiring system into > clothing? > > Peter
I think your idea is good and can make you good money if
you are fast enough. 1-2 mA is not a lot, but with some more
experiments you may be able to achieve 10 mA or so. Then, you
may try sticking very thin enammeled wire to the skin (say, 0.06
or something, it is flexible enough to last for the evening
and will only take some glue - and will carry more than 10 mA...).
You will probably have to zig-zag bend the wire before sticking
so it will withstand the skin expansions etc...

Dimiter

------------------------------------------------------
Dimiter Popoff               Transgalactic Instruments

http://www.tgi-sci.com
------------------------------------------------------

Lyn wrote:
> Peter, > Thank you. > Some good points. > Many artists wear silver body paint, so non toxic. > Well it might look daft, but people have tatoos as art, so that is a > matter of opinion. > > I'm only passing 1-2mA through skin at present, but your issue on > possible skin damage may be valid. > > Re " try integrating a wiring system into clothing?" > Because its too easy and already been done. Also not all the body is > clothed, e.g. arms, face, neck etc. > > > Lyn > > > Peter wrote: > > "Lyn" <sensecam@gmail.com> wrote in message > > news:1160729736.647699.58080@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com... > > > > > > I am trying to solve a problem of having wires going up to an MP3 > > > player to the earpiece. I also didn't want the weight of batteries, > > > e.g. via a Bluetooth or other wireless head set. I did an experiment > > > where I used conductive paint to mark out some tracks on my skin to > > > replace wires. The conductive paint is very flexible (I put it on my > > > hand which flexed a lot ) and there seemed to be enough current to > > > drive a LED throught my hand. > > > Image here: > > > http://www.flickr.com/photos/sensecam/267793137/ > > > > > > Might be useful applications like powering ear pieces, military apps, > > > body sensors, health monitoring, jewels, art etc. > > > I'm only doing experiments with AM analog signals at present, not > > > digital but may in future. > > > I also did some experiments with powering a crystal earpiece throught > > > the skin (no conductive paint, just skin resistance) > > > My question is, has this been done before (i.e .power not just signals) > > > ? (I know about the IBM Zimmerman expt ). It's seems obvious but a > > > google search reveals nothing. > > > > > > > > > Lyn > > > > > Its a nice idea but full of problems. Skin painting is probably a bad idea > > from the toxicity of the solvents and heavy metals involved. Also if you > > have any significant power then the flexing will eventually make a high > > resistance somewhere and that will give you a burn. Not to mention it would > > make you look stupid. Why don't you try integrating a wiring system into > > clothing? > > > > Peter
"Lyn" <sensecam@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:1160729736.647699.58080@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > I am trying to solve a problem of having wires going up to an MP3 > player to the earpiece. I also didn't want the weight of batteries, > e.g. via a Bluetooth or other wireless head set. I did an experiment > where I used conductive paint to mark out some tracks on my skin to > replace wires. The conductive paint is very flexible (I put it on my > hand which flexed a lot ) and there seemed to be enough current to > drive a LED throught my hand. > Image here: > http://www.flickr.com/photos/sensecam/267793137/ > > Might be useful applications like powering ear pieces, military apps, > body sensors, health monitoring, jewels, art etc. > I'm only doing experiments with AM analog signals at present, not > digital but may in future. > I also did some experiments with powering a crystal earpiece throught > the skin (no conductive paint, just skin resistance) > My question is, has this been done before (i.e .power not just > signals) > ? (I know about the IBM Zimmerman expt ). It's seems obvious but a > google search reveals nothing.
It's a very good idea but marketing it would be a challenge. There may also be other applications. One that springs to mind is the huge coils of wire running from behind the ears of newsreaders and sports reporters. I'm sure people like that wouldn't object to a couple of flesh-toned tracks being painted along their hairlines and down their necks as long as they could be blended in with make-up. Another thought is dumb kids who will wear anything that is fashionable. Considering how white iPod earphones have become a fashion accessory then musical "war paint" is probably exactly what the Fifty Pence and Duff Paddy generation are likely to embrace. Market it as a cosmetic thing rather than a convenience thing and you might get away with it. If you can get Fiddy to wear it instead of his monitor earpiece then sales will really boom. Of course, you'll need some money to get it approved as safe for use. I'll bet that leaving a metallic liquid on your skin for any length of time is not very good for your health.
"Lyn" <sensecam@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1160729736.647699.58080@b28g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

> Might be useful applications like powering ear pieces, military apps, > body sensors, health monitoring, jewels, art etc. > I'm only doing experiments with AM analog signals at present, not > digital but may in future. > I also did some experiments with powering a crystal earpiece throught > the skin (no conductive paint, just skin resistance) > My question is, has this been done before (i.e .power not just signals) > ? (I know about the IBM Zimmerman expt ). It's seems obvious but a > google search reveals nothing.
Not that *I* am aware of - neat idea, btw. The paint is somewhat brittle maybe one can wire up stuff on mylar-film based circuits (www.dyconex.com) However, if you want patents later you could not have asked here because that is Publishing.
Lyn wrote:

> Re " try integrating a wiring system into clothing?" > Because its too easy and already been done. Also not all the body is > clothed, e.g. arms, face, neck etc.
How about a tattoo in conductive ink? I wonder if you could tattoo someone with ITO (indium tin oxide; used as the electrode material in LCDs). That way you could run _invisible_ wires through the skin. Of course if you're willing to put up with this much pain, perhaps just running a thin wire through the dermis might be the right plan.
"larwe" <zwsdotcom@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:1160738056.951516.140710@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...
> > Lyn wrote: > >> Re " try integrating a wiring system into clothing?" >> Because its too easy and already been done. Also not all the body is >> clothed, e.g. arms, face, neck etc. > > How about a tattoo in conductive ink? > > I wonder if you could tattoo someone with ITO (indium tin oxide; used > as the electrode material in LCDs). That way you could run _invisible_ > wires through the skin.
> Of course if you're willing to put up with this much pain, perhaps > just > running a thin wire through the dermis might be the right plan. >
It never ceases to surprise me the ways in which people mutilate themselves. The service department secretary here has her _wrist_ pierced along with a number of other appendages. You wouldn't have to add many more to find a conductive path from her pocket to her ears!
Thanks for the patent reminder, I  posted here as i'm not planning on
patenting it, I'm doing it just for fun & research.
My last patent on this same subject covered most of the idea:

http://tinyurl.com/2vgx6


Lyn



larwe wrote:
> Lyn wrote: > > > Re " try integrating a wiring system into clothing?" > > Because its too easy and already been done. Also not all the body is > > clothed, e.g. arms, face, neck etc. > > How about a tattoo in conductive ink? > > I wonder if you could tattoo someone with ITO (indium tin oxide; used > as the electrode material in LCDs). That way you could run _invisible_ > wires through the skin. > > Of course if you're willing to put up with this much pain, perhaps just > running a thin wire through the dermis might be the right plan.
Thank you, these are all constructive replies.

Newreaders may well like an almost invisible auto prompt.
Children love face paint.
Invisible ink sounds good.
BTW the silver paint wore off me after about 12 hours, not mutilation!
:-)

I used silver paint with resistance 0.02 to 0.05 ohms/sq/mil.
www.rswww.com


Might be useful for medical electronics where people who have a few
heart electrodes wired on them 24/7. It might be more comfortable than
wires everywhere.



Lyn

Tom Lucas wrote:
> "larwe" <zwsdotcom@gmail.com> wrote in message > news:1160738056.951516.140710@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com... > > > > Lyn wrote: > > > >> Re " try integrating a wiring system into clothing?" > >> Because its too easy and already been done. Also not all the body is > >> clothed, e.g. arms, face, neck etc. > > > > How about a tattoo in conductive ink? > > > > I wonder if you could tattoo someone with ITO (indium tin oxide; used > > as the electrode material in LCDs). That way you could run _invisible_ > > wires through the skin. > > > Of course if you're willing to put up with this much pain, perhaps > > just > > running a thin wire through the dermis might be the right plan. > > > > It never ceases to surprise me the ways in which people mutilate > themselves. The service department secretary here has her _wrist_ > pierced along with a number of other appendages. You wouldn't have to > add many more to find a conductive path from her pocket to her ears!