Monday 18 April 2016

Palm Skin Could Be Turned Into Touchscreen


Technique – Time Reversible Processing – SkinHaptics

The Internet of Things would soon stretch to your skin, with the hands working like a touchscreen. Researcher at the University of Sussex in England have conducted a study on a technique known as time-reversal processing which can be utilised in sending ultrasound waves through the hand.

SkinHaptics is a system that tends to send ultrasound through the hand in creating a sense of touch. The waves of ultrasound tend to get targeted while they travel through the hand ending at a precise point on the palm. It could sound like some kind of an incredible sci-fi novel though one would soon be capable of using the skin as a touchscreen. UK scientists have achieved in creating tactile sensations on the palm of a human hand utilising ultra-light beams.

The hand is envisaged as a possible perfect display extension for the forthcoming smartwatches though earlier haptic technology had used pins or other vibrating parts, to touch the skin and then block the display area of the hands. The new system is said to be different since it utilises sound to provide touch feedback wherein the hand is available as a touchscreen.The new application, SkinHaptics tends to send sensations to the palm from the back of the hand so that the palm is free to display the screen.

Wearable Are Big Business

The first to discover a way for users to feel what they are doing while interacting with displays projected on their hand were a team from the University of Sussex. Professor Sriram Subramanian, leading the research team at the University of Sussex stated that wearable are already big business and will only tend to get bigger. He adds that as we tend to wear technology more, it gets smaller and we look at it less and hence multisensory capabilities have become more important.

If one envisages that they are on the bike and want to change the volume control on the smartwatch, the interaction space on the watch is quite small and so companies are considering how to extend this space to the hand of the user. What is offered to the user is the potential of feeling their actions while they are interacting with the hand. The discoveries were presented at the IEEE Haptic Symposium 2016 in Philadelphia by co-author Dr Daniel Spelmezan study.

Haptic Technology – Fast Growing Element of Technology Market

When the device is placed at the back of the hand, it tends to feel like it is touching the palm. With additional progress, the technology is said to be used in similar ways to smart watch application. For instance, SkinHaptics could send the sensation of a tap on the wrist in notifying users of incoming calls or inform them whether to turn left or right while following directions.

 A projector can also form a display on the hand of the user, thereby turning the skin into a long-lasting touchscreen. Haptic technology that comprises of vibrating controllers in video games as well as vibrates alerts on phones and other smart device is said to be a fast growing element of the technology market. Researchers are of the opinion that the overall haptic technology market could reach $29.84 billion towards 2020.

Though haptic technology supporters aim on applications mainly in the virtual reality gaming as well as medical fields, products such as SkinHaptics tend to give rise to more diverse applications of haptic technology.

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