3/19/10

On Tap: Skinput


The line between science and science fiction continues to blur at Carnegie Mellon.

This time it’s with the creation of Skinput – a new system that enables you to use your own body as a touchpad.

Developed by Chris Harrison, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, in conjunction with Microsoft’s Dan Morris and Desney Tan, the possibilities are plentiful.

A pico projector attached to an armband is used to display the screen on your arm or palm. You can then navigate the system by taping on the projected screen. Biosensors make it possible for the location of these “skin taps” to be recognized based on bone and soft tissue variations.
For Harrison, the current version of Skinput is just the beginning.

In a world of smeared screens, cracked glass and miniature buttons, enter a device the size of a small stack of coins, worn on your wrist or bicep with the same capabilities of an iPhone.

That’s just what Harrison has in mind for the future.

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