The volume of phone cases and skins in the market are very high. Users rarely allow their phones to be exposed and always cover them using a skin or a case. Well, now a company called Telecom ParisTech has introduced a creepy but innovative piece of technology instead of which we can interact with our devices. This new technology is basically a kind of ‘artificial skin’ that allows users to use new features and inputs while using it.
Dubbed Skin-on Interfaces, the technology was developed by telecom ParisTech with researchers from HCI Sorbonne University and CNRS by its creator Mark Tessier. It all started when Teyssier wanted to do more with his phone. In particular, he wanted to pinch it. He wanted to change the way we interact with our phones. He says that it is cold and impersonal and he wanted to replace that experience with a realistic version of human skin. He has the right idea, because we humans are used to touch the skin and this is part of how we interact with others.
The team began producing two prototypes, a simpler version and a true-to-life version that mimicked human skin. He also programmed ‘skin’ to detect various gestures such as pinch, thump and light tickle. The team has also associated these gestures with various emotions to represent their actions. For example, if you hold your phone tightly, it will think that the user is angry. Essentially, this means that the amount of pressure is directly related to the change in the electric charge of the system.
The company also features artificial skin in the touchpad and smartwatch wristbands. The future of the company lies in making the idea of human skin more palatable to the general public. In the paper published on the topic, the nesting step for Skin-On is to create a more realistic product that features hair, changing temperatures, sweating, and even fart bumps.
Who knows where this technology will go in the next few years, but so far, it’s interesting to see why researchers are approaching the idea of a seamless human experience when you’re interacting with a cold electric piece of technology Huh.