Next Up for Smartwatches? Turning Your Skin Into a Touchscreen.

It’s called the SkinTrack. Also, your epidermis is showing.

By Evan Bleier

 
Next Up for Smartwatches? Turning Your Skin Into a Touchscreen.
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10 May 2016

If a new wearable technology takes off, Best Buy (Does that still exist?) might have to start hiring dermatologists.

In order to combat the size limits of smartwatch interfaces, researchers at the Futures Interfaces Group research lab at Carnegie Mellon University have come up with a technology that turns the skin on a user’s arm into a functioning touchpad.

To work, the Skintrack requires a user to wear a ring that emits a high-frequency electrical signal and a sensor with four electrodes that connect with a wearable as well as the skin in order to enable swiping, tapping, scrolling and other touchscreen functions.

During their research, the Futures Interfaces team used the SkinTrack as a game controller, map navigator and stylus pad with the same basic accuracy level as most standard touchscreens.

While the technology is (allegedly) safe, issues with sweat and hydration as well as difficulty maintaining a battery charge are all problems that would need to be solved before the Skintrack can be brought to market.

SkinTrack 4:02

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