Friday Poll: Gimme me some skin, man!

Word of Skinput, an experimental technology that would essentially turn skin into a touch screen, made our collective skin crawl with delight. How would you most like to see this unusual input device used?

CNET News Poll

Skin me
What would you most like to see Skinput do?

Make Wii remote obsolete
Project full keyboard on leg
Automatically translate Italians' gesticulating
Make fist-bumps auto-tweet "Obama!"
Project crib notes for chemistry exam
Play Divinyls' "I Touch Myself" on iPod
Call Mom when I slap my forehead



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Skinput
Chris Harrison/Carnegie Mellon University

When we learned about an experimental technology earlier this week that turns your skin into an interactive surface, our collective skin crawled with delight. Skinput, developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft, is an acoustic bio-sensor armband that picks up sound patterns created when tapping a forearm or palm.

Specific acoustic signatures from different areas on the hand or forearm can be linked to functions like dialing a phone, operating an MP3 player, or playing Tetris. Pinching and flicking gestures can also be used for commands, and adding a pico projector to the armband can display menu selections on your forearm--or a keypad on your palm for dialing. The system has a claimed accuracy of up to 95 percent.

The idea of turning an arm into an interactive surface--and thus transforming it into a wireless, Web-linked tool--set our minds a-reeling. If Skinput becomes a real product some day, how would you most want to use it? Vote in our poll, and share any other Skinput visions you might have in the TalkBack section below.

About the author

Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.

 

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