Watch this wearable electronic skin control virtual objects


When it comes to interacting with virtual worlds, the technology can be frustratingly limited — often relying on staying within view of a camera and big wonky controls. A new wearable, electronic skin could change that. Researchers have developed “e-skin” that can track small movements, allowing users to control virtual objects using their hands and fingers. The artificial skin is only 3.5 microns thick — about the same width as a single thread of spider silk and consists of a tiny magnetic sensor sandwiched between two layers of film. When the skin is near a magnet, the sensor produces a voltage which varies depending on its angle relative to the magnetic field. Software monitors the output voltage and reconstructs the exact position of the sensor, tracking the body part the skin is attached to and replicating its movement in a virtual environment. One day, this technology could allow people to interact with virtual worlds using only their bodies, eliminating the need for cumbersome equipment.

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