Microsoft is developing technology that would allow you to control your electronic devices by simply touching yourself. Imagine your phone pad or MP3 player’s controls being on your arm or hand, rather than on a physical device, and you’ll have an idea of the Skinput team’s vision of the future.
The current incarnation of this technology rests in an armband that listens to the vibrations and acoustics that naturally occur when touching or tapping different parts of the body. The middle of your forearm has a different bone density, size, and mass than your wrist, providing acoustically unique vibrations. Take a look for yourself:
Imagine taking a jog and skipping a song on your MP3 player by simply tapping your arm. Or swapping contact information by simply shaking someone’s hand (possibly the next generation of apps like Bump?).
My personal reaction? Thanks, but no thanks. While it’s impressive to witness the advancement of technology, I feel like skin-as-touch screen is more a gimmick than a marketable product. We saw what happened when Apple toyed with the idea of eliminating buttons all together.
Will Skinput technology be the way of the future? Or will people simply “Oooo” and “Ahhhh” and then go back to their physical devices? I suppose we’ll see.
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