You’ve heard of a phone skin before, but what about actual skin on your phone? If that’s something that sounds utterly creepy and kind of gross to you, well you probably shouldn’t continue on reading, because that’s what this article is all about.
Marc Teyssier and his team at Telecom Paris in France have developed an artificial flesh material that responds to various stimuli. You can use it as a trackpad on your laptop, on a robot for more natural interactions, or as a cover for your phone. The cover allows you to pinch, poke, and yes, stroke the phone skin and it will cause things to happen on the device.
You can check out the prototype flesh in the YouTube video below:
“I wanted to pinch my phone,” Teyssier explained to New Scientist as the reason for designing the skin.
Despite how Cronenbergian and off-putting the flesh seems, it does have some fairly interesting capabilities. For example, in the video, they demonstrate how a squeeze of the fleshy sides of a smartphone could bring up menus or apps, similar to Active Edge on Google Pixel devices. They also show how poking the skin would give a user a tactile feeling of depth on a laptop trackpad, which could be useful for things like gaming.
However, everything comes together when, in the middle of the video, they show how you could poke and prod the flesh to interact with a human-like avatar on your computer screen. I’m sure the adult gaming industry is already sending Teyssier and his team lots of pitch emails.
Teyssier says his next goal is to make the flesh even more realistic with hair and warmth.
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