Eerie "Skin-On" material mimics human skin for gadget control

The multi-layered Skin-On material underlying the new tactile interface is called "realistic" by some, and "realistic but ugly" by others. A joint development of scientists from the British University of Bristol, the Sorbonne University and the French company Telecomm ParisTech meticulously mimics human skin. And it can translate various types of interaction with it into commands for the connected device.

The upper and lower layers of Skin-On reproduce the structure of human skin - on the outside there is a silicone imitation of the epidermis, at the bottom there is a thick layer of imitator of fiber. Between them is a wire mesh that divides the work space into cells to determine the point of contact. In a sense, it is a kind of touchpad that responds to the user's touch.

The peculiarity of the interface is that Skin-On recognizes gestures atypical for touch technology. For example, pinching, stroking, twisting - the top layer has great mobility, which makes it possible to recognize dozens of gestures. And, accordingly, expand the set of received commands.

The main idea, according to the developers, is to transfer the already familiar tactile contact to the field of equipment control. If people interact with each other by touching the skin, then why not teach electronics the same?