After the Smart Watch, it’s the Smart Earring

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After the Smart Watch, it's the Smart Earring
Pic courtesy University of Washington.

A smart earring developed at University of Washington, USA, monitors earlobe temperature.

It senses skin temperature more accurately than a smartphone and could be developed to monitor signs of stress, eating, exercise and ovulation.

The thermal earring prototype is about the size and weight of a small paperclip. It incorporates circuitry, a Bluetooth chip, a battery, two temperature sensors and an antenna.

A magnetic clip attaches one temperature sensor to a wearer’s ear, while another sensor dangles about an inch below it for estimating room temperature.

The earring, which as has a 28-day battery life, can be personalized with fashion designs made of resin (in the shape of a flower, for example) or with a gemstone, with no impact on its accuracy.

“I wear a smartwatch to track my personal health, but I’ve found that a lot of people think smartwatches are unfashionable or bulky and uncomfortable,” said co-lead author Qiuyue (Shirley) Xue, a doctoral student who developed the earring.

“I also like to wear earrings, so we started thinking about what unique things we can get from the earlobe.

“We found that sensing the skin temperature on the lobe, instead of a hand or wrist, was much more accurate. It also gave us the option to have part of the sensor dangle to separate ambient room temperature from skin temperature.”

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