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Researchers Develop Goose Bump Sensor

Update Date: Jun 25, 2014 09:51 AM EDT

Researchers have developed a flexible wearable 20mm x 20mm polymer sensor that can directly measure the degree and occurrence on the skin of goose bumps caused by sudden changes in body temperatures or emotional states. The goose bumps are technically known as "piloerection". 

The newly devised technology is based on electronic device known as coplanar capacitor which detects goose bumps by virtue of a simple, linear relation between the deformation of the sensor and the decrease of the capacitance. 

"We found that the height of the goose bump and the piloerection duration can be deduced by analyzing obtained capacitance change trace," explained Young-Ho Cho, in the press release.

The findings of the study suggest that quantitatively monitoring goose bumps in real-time as an indicator of human physical or emotional status is possible. It can also pave the way for personalized advertising, music streams or other services informed by directly access to the emotions of the end user. 

"In the future, human emotions will be regarded like any typical biometric information, including body temperature or blood pressure," Cho said.

Researchers said in the near future they plan to scale down the signal processing module and capacitance measurement system to be co-mounted on skin with the sensor. 

The device has been detailed in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

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