Devices that measure electrical signals from the brain or eyes can help diagnose conditions like epilepsy and sleep disorders, as well as control computers in human-machine interfaces.
But obtaining these measurements requires a steady physical contact between skin and sensor, which is difficult with rigid devices.
The research team from Korea University wanted to integrate soft, conductive electrodes into e-glasses that could wirelessly monitor brain and eye signals, UV intensity, and body movements or postures, while also acting as a human-machine interface.
According to the findings, published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, the researchers built the glasses’ frame with a 3D printer and then added flexible electrodes near the ears (EEG sensor) and eyes (EOG sensor).
They also added a wireless circuit for motion/UV sensing on the side of the glasses and a UV-responsive, colour-adjustable gel inside the lenses.
When the sensor detected UV rays of a certain intensity, the lenses changed colour and became sunglasses.
The motion detector allowed the researchers to track the posture and gait of the wearer, as well as to detect when they fell.
The EEG recorded alpha rhythms of the brain, which could be used to monitor health.
Finally, the EOG monitor allowed the wearer to easily move bricks around in a popular video game by adjusting the direction and angle of their eyes.
The e-glasses could be useful for digital healthcare or virtual reality applications, the researchers said.