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News In Brief

A system that turns your arm into buttons

Daryl Paranada Apr 19, 2010

Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University have created a system called Skinput that allows you to turn your body into a touch interface. Yes, the system allows you to tap parts of your body to perform a task on, say, your cell phone. Want to answer a call? Tap your palm. Send a text? Rub two fingers together.

The system works by having a user strap on an armband that includes sensors, which listen for taps and vibrations when you use your hand or arm as buttons. The system then classifies the movement to perform an action, using a gadget that works through a Bluetooth connection. Essentially, it turns your arm into an input device. The Skinput system can be enlarged to fit a person’s forearm by using a pico-projector, and has been in development for eight months. Still, it won’t be commercially available for a few more years.

What do you think? Too complicated? Or a neat innovation?

For an explanation of the system and how it works, visit this site or watch the video below:

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