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New Interface That Allows Phone to ‘Feel’ Sensations just as Human Skin

In the study, the researchers created a phone case, computer touch pad and smart watch to demonstrate how touch gestures on the Skin-On interface can convey expressive messages

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Human Skin
The "Skin-On" interface, mimics human skin in appearance but also in sensing resolution. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a new interface that allows phones, wearables or computers to “feel” sensations such as tickling, caressing, twisting and even pinching just as the human skin does.

The “Skin-On” interface, mimics human skin in appearance but also in sensing resolution.

In the study, the researchers created a phone case, computer touch pad and smart watch to demonstrate how touch gestures on the Skin-On interface can convey expressive messages for computer mediated communication with humans or virtual characters.

The researchers demonstrated that tickling the skin can generate a laughing emoji on a phone, while tapping it can create a surprised emoji.

“One of the main use of smartphones is mediated communication, using text, voice, video, or a combination,” said lead author of the study Marc Teyssier from Telecomm ParisTech in France.

Skin
The artificial Skin allows devices to ‘feel’ the user’s grasp — its pressure and location, and can detect interactions such as tickling, caressing, even twisting and pinching. Pixabay

“We implemented a messaging application where users can express rich tactile emotions on the artificial skin. The intensity of the touch controls the size of the emojis. A strong grip conveys anger while tickling the skin displays a laughing emoji and tapping creates a surprised emoji” Teyssier said.

The study scheduled to be presented at the 32nd ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium to be held in New Orleans in the US from October 20-23 takes touch technology to the next level.

The researchers adopted a bio-driven approach to developing the multi-layer, silicone membrane. This is made up of a surface textured layer, an electrode layer of conductive threads and a hypodermis layer.

Not only is the interface more natural than a rigid casing, it can also detect a plethora of gestures made by the end-users.

Skin
Touch gestures on the Human Skin-On interface can convey expressive messages for computer mediated communication with humans or virtual characters. Pixabay

As a result, the artificial skin allows devices to ‘feel’ the user’s grasp — its pressure and location, and can detect interactions such as tickling, caressing, even twisting and pinching.

“This is the first time we have the opportunity to add skin to our interactive devices. The idea is perhaps a bit surprising, but skin is an interface we are highly familiar with so why not use it and its richness with the devices we use every day?” said University of Bristol Professor Anne Roudaut who supervised the research.

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“Artificial skin has been widely studied in the field of robotics but with a focus on safety, sensing or cosmetic aims. This is the first research we are aware of that looks at exploiting realistic artificial skin as a new input method for augmenting devices,” Teyssier said. (IANS)

Next Story

Tech Giant Google Funds Six AI-based Projects in India

Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google's global network of researchers

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Google
Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google's global network of researchers. Pixabay

Google on Tuesday started six Artificial Intelligence (AI) based research projects in India that would focus on addressing social, humanitarian and environmental challenges in sectors like healthcare, education, disaster prevention and conversation.

Google Research India will provide each team with funding and computational resources in addition to supporting the efforts with expertise in computer vision, natural language processing, and other deep learning techniques, the company said in a statement.

“We are increasingly seeing people apply AI to address big challenges. Therefore, we have made research in AI for Social Good one of the key focus areas of Google Research India — the AI lab we started in Bengaluru last year in September,” said Manish Gupta, Director, Google Research Team, India.

Among the six projects are improving health information for high HIV/AIDS risk communities from team from IIT Delhi led by Tavpritesh Sethi, team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham and nonprofit Swasti.

Researchers from IIT Madras led by Balaraman Ravindran and nonprofit Armman will use AI to predict the risk of expectant mothers dropping out of healthcare programmes, to improve targeted interventions and increase positive healthcare outcomes for mothers and their babies.

The team from Singapore Management University led by Arunesh Sinha and nonprofit Khushibaby will apply AI to help ensure consistency in how healthcare information is captured and monitored.

Another team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham along with nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Trust will use AI to predict human-wildlife conflict in the state of Maharashtra to help inform data-driven policy making.

The team of Nanyang Technology University led by Bo An and nonprofit Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & The Environment will apply AI to inform dam and barrage water releases, to help build early warning systems that minimise risk of disasters.

Google
Google on Tuesday started six Artificial Intelligence (AI) based research projects in India that would focus on addressing social, humanitarian and environmental challenges in sectors like healthcare, education, disaster prevention and conversation. Pixabay

The last team from AI4Bharat and IIT Madras led by Mitesh Khapra and Pratyush Kumar along with nonprofit Storyweaver will build open-source input tools for underserved Indian languages to accelerate publishing of openly licensed content.

“We look forward to supporting academic researchers, organisations and the broader community over the coming months and years to bring these projects to life,” said Milind Tambe, Director, AI for Social Good, Google Research Team, India.

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Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google’s global network of researchers. (IANS)