TECH
04/02/2015 15:49 GMT | Updated 04/02/2015 15:59 GMT

Magnetic Element Could Give Humans Shark-Like Magnetoception

IFW Dresden

A new device developed by German scientists could grant humans the shark-like sense of magnetoception.

Yes, that's a real thing. Some sharks, insects and birds use it to detect magnetic fields, which helps them to orient themselves.

Now researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden have created a light, flexible sensor that would allow humans to get in on the magnetoception action.

magnetoception

The sensor can be crumpled and straightened without damage

The wearer cannot yet feel any feedback from the patch, but data can be relayed to a screen where LEDs will light up.

"These ultra-thin magnetic field sensors readily conform to ubiquitous objects including human skin and offer a new sense for soft robotics, safety and healthcare monitoring, consumer electronics and electronic skin devices," the scientists say.

It's hard to see what real-life applications this could have, but in everyday terms it could help you do some pretty cool stuff with your phone.

If you don't want to wait for this tech to become fully functional, you could always just get a magnetic implant in your hand.

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