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Japan sensor will let diaper say baby needs changing

Published on Feb 10, 2014 11:13 AM
This picture taken on Feb 9, 2014 shows Japan's University of Tokyo professor Takao Someya holding a nappy containing the world's first flexible wireless organic sensor system which has a power supply circuit, data transmission circuit and a sensor on the 12.5 micrometers thin film, designed as a wearable sensor at his laboratory in Tokyo. The flexible sensor system can receive a wireless power supply with the magnetic-resonance method and an organic ring oscillator which can transmit data with its moisture sensor. Future applications could include disposable, moisture-sensing diapers that detect moisture and notify caretakers. -- PHOTO: AFP 

TOKYO (AFP) - A disposable organic sensor that can be embedded in a diaper and wirelessly let a carer know it needs changing was unveiled by Japanese researchers on Monday.

The flexible integrated circuit printed on a single plastic film transmits information and receives its power wirelessly, and could potentially be manufactured for a few yen (less than S$0.1), the developers said.

The system, which uses organic materials that can be printed with inkjet technology, was developed by a team led by professors Takayasu Sakurai and Takao Someya at the University of Tokyo.

In addition to use in infants' diapers, the technology can be applied to adult nappies, which are a big-seller in rapidly-ageing Japan.

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