The development of ultra-thin LED screens is nothing new in the world of smartphones. University of Tokyo researchers however have gone one better by creating a wearable display which is thin enough to blend in with the human skin.

The Japanese researchers developed the optoelectronic skin using polymer LEDs and organic photodetectors which measure in at just three micrometres, allowing the the Light Emitting Diode display to showcase a simple yet dazzling array of moving numbers. This is a breakthrough in design compared to previous attempts as the current ‘digital skin’ sports a run time of several days whilst the film itself is more robust and doesn’t break when a user’s skin flexes.

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The technology itself could open up a new world to fans of tattoos where ink, fashion and technology fuse to create a one-of-a-kind, and presumably expensive, piece of wearable body art. A light up Southern Cross, anyone?

For now the technology is still in its early stages with the prototype skin measuring just blood oxygen concentration levels. Scientists however believe the the LED skin could one day aid runners with fitness data on their hands and diagrams on workers’ hands. If the skin makes it to the masses, smartwatches may soon have something to worry about.