Plessey Semiconductors, developers and manufacturers of semiconductor sensors based in Roborough England, have started shipping prototype units of a novel sensor platform which is potentially capable of non-contact sensing of a range of physiological parameters. The Electric Potential Integrated Circuit (EPIC) sensor measures tiny changes in electric fields at a distance which Plessey believes will open up a huge number of biomedical applications for the technology.
According to the company, the EPIC sensor is capable of non-contact or dry contact detection of a number of signals from our bodies which influence the ambient electric field around us. ECG and EMG is possible for contact, close proximity and remote monitoring applications. One of the more interesting ideas for application of this technology is remote kinematic sensing. The company website has a neat video of the underlying principles and applications of the technology, including ECG sensing through a shirt (scroll to 7:30 for the demos):
Product page: EPIC Sensor…
(hat tip: IEEE Spectrum)