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Your sweat powers this wearable

Scientists at Caltech just figured out how to make perspiration power a wearable e-skin that can monitor your health and control devices over Bluetooth.

Andy Altman Director of Video Production
Andy Altman is a producer covering all things science and tech. He led production on CNET's award-winning limited documentary series Hacking the Apocalypse. He also created and co-hosts our video series What the Future.
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  • Webby Award Honoree 2023 - Science & Education, Gold Telly 2022 - Science and Technology, Gold Telly 2022 - Science and Technology Series, Gold Telly 2021 - Documentary Series, Silver Telly 2021 - Directing
Andy Altman
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The wearable e-skin combines lactate from your sweat with oxygen from the atmosphere to create power inside fuel cells.

Dr. Wei Gao

Your skin can tell you a lot about what's happening in the world around you. It can sense temperature, pressure and pain. Now scientists at the California Institute of Technology have developed an electronic skin that can track what's happening with your body. And it runs on a human waste product: sweat.

Wei Gao and his team at Caltech designed their e-skin to run on lactate, a natural byproduct of human sweat. The researchers say it's the world's first e-skin that can run without an external power source, and they were even able to show that it can control human prosthetics over Bluetooth. Watch the video to see my interview with Gao about how the e-skin works, and how he and his team hope it can change the way we use wearable technology.

Watch this: Watch this sweat-powered wearable control a prosthetic leg