Skinput menu projection
Technology has improved to the point
that MP3 players can easily fit in the palm of your hand - and
companies are still pushing for even smaller sizes as technology
The problem is getting a decent user interface to work on a
device as small as a stick of gum - the third-gen Apple iPod Shuffle
had to resort to voice-overs and buttons attached to the earbuds to
make up for its lack of screen and miniscule size. It was not a very
optimal solution for many, but it did work fairly well. Right?
There will soon be an alternative to
this solution, however. Thanks to research done by Microsoft and
Carnegie Mellon, you may soon be able to use your very skin as
a control interface for most any device.
Armband sensorsIndeed, the aptly named Skinput can
turn any part of your body into a touchable interface, and it can even project a graphical user interface onto a part of your body
for increased control. Needless to say, it looks rather impressive.
Headband sensorsSkinput works by continuously
“listening” for bio-acoustic signals that occur when fingers tap
your skin. The differences in bone densities and filtering effects
from various tissues and joints throughout your body result in unique
signals, and, by using a specialized array of sensors (currently
configured as a headband or wristband), Skinput measures these
signals and classifies them. One can then control their media
players, phones and other personal devices this way, provided that
they support Bluetooth.
ProjectorWith a small projector attached,
Skinput can also apparently handle graphical user interfaces- such as
scrolling lists or numerical keypads, opening up even more
ways to interact with your device without taking it out of your pocket.
Of course, Skinput is still under development and won't be out and about as a consumer product (if at all) for a while. The sensor arrangement is a little unwieldy and I’m sure the
overall accuracy isn’t completely spot-on yet. It’s still an interesting project,
though, and definitely something to look out for in the future. (Via