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We might no longer have to depend on cell phones, watches or stopwatch to check time after a run, just a gaze at the back of our hand would be enough. It might sound like something straight out of science-fiction movies but researchers have actually made it possible. Scientists recently developed a stretchable light-emitting stopwatch device which can operate at low voltages and is completely safe for human skin.

Though we can say that these kind of human-machine interfaces are no longer limited to science fiction, they have a way to go before it becomes mainstream. The new device developed by the scientists is known as alternating-current electroluminescent (ACEL) display. It can be stuck on human skin or any other surfaces just like a temporary tattoo.

According to a press release published by EurekaAlert, one of the major concerns of the new device is that the display requires high voltages in order to provide sufficient brightness and it raises safety concerns.

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In the study published on ACS, researchers wrote, "We report the development of dielectric nanocomposites by filling surface-modified ceramic nanoparticles into polar elastomers, which exhibit a series of desirable attributes, in terms of high permittivity, mechanical deformability, and solution processability."

Further explained, "Dielectric nanocomposite effectively concentrates electric fields onto phosphor to enable low-voltage operation of stretchable electroluminescent display, thereby alleviating safety concerns toward wearable applications. The practical feasibility is demonstrated by an epidermal stopwatch that allows intimate integration with the human body."

According to the researchers, the high-permittivity nanocomposites reported representing building block for stretchable electronic devices which can have innumerable applications in things like sensors, stretchable transistors, energy-harvesting and light-emitting devices.