Transform your body into a touchscreen - CTTEC - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Transform your body into a touchscreen

Skinput is an amazing Bluetooth-enabled device being developed by scientists from Carnegie Mellon and Microsoft that allows you to use your skin as a touchscreen to control your phone, MP3 player or gaming console.

It works by using a bio-acoustic sensing technique that allows your body to be used as an input surface. When your finger taps your skin, the impact creates acoustic signals that can be measured by the device. To capture these signals, scientists have developed a bio-acoustic sensing array which listens for impacts and classifies them. Skinput is able to do this because of variations in bone density, size and mass, as well as filtering effects from soft tissues and joints that make different locations on the skin acoustically distinct. Skinput sensors transmit their signals to your chosen device using Bluetooth technology, allowing you to control its functions.

Is there a practical use for this technology? I think there definitely is! Just imagine an iPod strapped to your arm could be controlled by taps to your fingers. A mini-projector could project a graphic user interface on an arm allowing the user to click on buttons or navigate using a scrolling-based interface!

What do you think? Could you see yourself using a device like Skinput?

Article courtesy of Toronto Sun