If there’s one thing the current generation of wearables and its flagship product, the Apple Watch, get dinged for, it’s clunky, cumbersome and sometimes downright uncool product design. However, a collaboration between two startups might dispose of the need for unsightly hardware — or really hardware at all.
Health tech firm MC10 and custom product solution design group PCH announced on Tuesday (April 12) that they signed an agreement to embark on a partnership to design low-profile, flexible, stretchable and disposable wearables that consumers can apply directly to their skin. Scott Pomerantz, president and CEO at MC10, explained that the two companies’ combined expertise will allow them to perfect MC10’s Wearable Interactive Stamp Platform, despite how far-fetched it may seem.
“We are excited to partner with PCH to expand the reach of MC10’s body-worn electronics globally, within and beyond our core health care market,” Pomerantz said in a statement. “PCH’s experience working with leading consumer brands and their ability to commercialize the technology will accelerate development of new applications within a variety of industries for skin-worn wearables.”
A malleable wearable that can attach itself to human skin is far from a product concept. MC10 and L’Oréal debuted their own on-the-skin wearable at CES 2016 in January, Digital Trends reported. Dubbed the BioStamp Research Connect, the sticker-like device included a fully packed sensor module with an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a miniaturized electrocardiogram and galvanic skin response unit. The two companies also debuted the My UV Patch, a similar device meant to monitor exposure to harmful radiation.
“Previous technologies could only tell users the amount of potential sun exposure they were receiving per hour while wearing a rigid, non-stretchable device,” Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, told Digital Trends. “The key was to design a sensor that was thin, comfortable and virtually weightless so people would actually want to wear it. We’re excited to be the first beauty company entering the stretchable electronics field and to explore the many potential applications for this technology within our industry and beyond.”