Performance-tracking wearables often function by observing heart rate or body temperature, but new cortisol-tracking wearables may be on the horizon. This new wave of wearables comes from a prototype developed by scientists at Stanford University. The decision to measure cortisol is not an entirely new concept in wearables but this new system offers the distinct advantage of immediate and accurate tracking.
Unlike other performance-tracking wearables, cortisol-tracking wearables have to overcome the obstacle of tracking a chargeless substance. To overcome this, the scientists at Standford created a membrane that binds only to cortisol and lets regularly charged molecules pass through. This allows the sensor to monitor cortisol-carrying molecules, rather than the cortisol itself. To actually track this substance, the sensor is able to pull it through user's sweat.
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