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Artificial Skin Creates First Ticklish Devices

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The Skin-on interface allows devices to 'feel' the user's grasp.

A new interface takes touch technology to the next level by providing an artificial skin-like membrane for augmenting interactive devices.

Credit: University of Bristol

Researchers at the University of Bristol in the U.K. and France's Telecomm ParisTech and Sorbonne University have developed an artificial skin-like interface that can be used to augment devices like phones, wearables, and computers.

The Skin-On interface is based on a silicone membrane that emulates the layers in human skin, including a surface textured layer, a conductive electrode layer, and a hypodermis layer.

Skin-On allows devices to "feel" the pressure and location of the user's grip, as well as interactions like tickling, caressing, twisting, and pinching.

The researchers devised a phone case, computer touch pad, and smart watch to show how touch gestures on Skin-On can provide the ability to communicate expressively in computer-mediated exchanges with humans or virtual characters.

Bristol's Anne Roudaut said, "We have seen many works trying to augment human with parts of machines, here we look at the other way around and try to make the devices we use every day more like us."

From University of Bristol News (U.K.)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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