Since medicine’s early days doctors have employed the technique of percussion, utilizing different resonating frequencies of various parts of the body to diagnose disease. Amazingly this phenomenon is being adapted by researchers at Microsoft and Carnegie-Mellon to turn the human arm into an input device.
The technology, dubbed “Skinput,” is an armband that utilizes piezoelectric sensors that can recognize and differentiate taps and movement of different locations on the forearm via transmitted acoustic waves. Reportedly, the system can detect up to 5 different points with 95.5% accuracy. The technology can be used to control devices such as PCs and iPods via Bluetooth.
Its most exciting application comes into play when it is combined with a pico projector on the arm band. This turns the users arm into an interactive device, with projected buttons that can be used to navigate menus, play games and make phone calls.
Medically, we can see this technology used in the operating room as a way for a surgeon to remotely control
the stereo equipment while still remaining sterile. The potential for consumer applications appears enormous. We caution our readers to be wary of the dangers of Skinputting and driving.
Project page: Skinput: Appropriating the Body as an Input Surface…
Read more at New Scientist.
(Hat Tip: Engadget)