scientists develop faux-flesh to give touch devices a 'skin-on' interface
 

scientists develop faux-flesh to give touch devices a 'skin-on' interface

smartphones could be wrapped in artificial skin to give them a more natural feel, according to researchers. a faux-skin prototype called ‘skin-on’ has been developed by scientists to look and feel like human flesh, responding to different forms of human contact such as tickling, caressing and pinching.

scientists develop faux-flesh to give touch devices a skin-on interface

images courtesy of marc teyssien

 

 

skin-on‘ interfaces are sensitive skin-like cases that can be attached to mobile phones, wearable devices and laptop touchpads, to increase their capabilities. the technology was developed by researchers at the university of bristol in partnership with telecomm paristech and sorbonne university in paris.

scientists develop faux-flesh to give touch devices a skin-on interface

 

 

‘when we interact with others, we use skin as interfaces. however the objects of mediated communication – such as the smartphone – still has a cold interface that doesn’t allow natural interaction and input,’ explains marc teyssien, a PhD student at telecomm paristech and lead study author. ‘in this project, I wanted to make available the perfect human interface that is the skin for existing devices.’

scientists develop faux-flesh to give touch devices a skin-on interface

 

 

the artificial skin is made of three layers, including a top textured layer built by pouring dragonskin silicone with beige pigments on a skin-like texture mold. beneath that is a lattice of stretchable copper wire sandwiched on top of another layer of silicone. pressure on the skin changes the electric charge of the system.

scientists develop faux-flesh to give touch devices a skin-on interface

 

 

‘to improve the visual appearance of the interface, the excess of silicone can be trimmed before being folded around the side of the hypodermis layer and glued with silicone glue,’ adds teyssien. ‘paint or makeup can be added to shade the artificial skin with flesh like tonal variation, thus increasing anthropomorphism.’

scientists develop faux-flesh to give touch devices a skin-on interface

 

 

the artificial skin is programmed to associate different gestures with certain emotions. putting pressure on the skin is associated with anger and tapping is a way of expressing that you need attention. sustained contact and stroking register as comfort.

scientists develop faux-flesh to give touch devices a 'skin-on' interface

 

 

the next stage in the research will involve making the skin more realistic using embedded hair and temperature features. the work is currently being presented at the ACM symposium on user interface software and technology in new orleans, US.

 

 

project info:

 

research: telecom paristech, hci sorbonne université, CNRS
name: skin-on
authors: marc teyssier, gilles bailly, catherine pelachaud, eric lecolinet, andrew conn and anne roudaut.
site: bristol interaction group, bristol UK

  • In the name of “Biomimetic Design Explorations” please stop human-alike (life-like) smart applications-intact explorations. Design is to enhance the quality of human life, it’s not to pseudo-imitate and expose human body’s anatomical features.

    Santosh Kumar Jha
  • Smartphones, my ass. We know where this tech is headed.

    John Date
  • Can you imagine the creeps fondling their phone while looking at your children? Eeech… No thanks!

    Jimmy

    Jimmy Xi
  • NO ONE NEEDS THIS AND IT’S NIGHTMARISH

    TK

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