Ultrawideband—or UWB—technology could possibly save your life: that is, if researchers can figure out how to create an energy efficient, portable, wireless device which can monitor your vital signs. But a research paper authored by researchers at Oregon State University says that this is entirely possible —and promising (just don’t expect to order a wristband anytime soon). Co-author of the paper and assistant professor at the OSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Patrick Chiang, speculates on what one of these babies might be able to do:
“This type of sensing would scale a monitor down to something about the size of a bandage that you could wear around with you. The sensor might provide and transmit data on some important things, like heart health, bone density, blood pressure, or insulin status,” Chiang said. “Ideally, you could not only monitor health issues but also help prevent problems before they happen. Maybe detect arrhythmias, for instance, and anticipate heart attacks. And it needs to be non-invasive, cheap, and able to provide huge amounts of data.”
UWB technology has already been compared to the Tricorder from Star Trek, but it might be more appropriate to compare it to the Pip-Boy 3000 from Fallout 3 or that thing Leela from Futurama wears on her wrist. One way or another, we call it the future.