According to The Daily BeastStanford University researchers have produced a kind of “smart skin” that can be sprayed on the hand. This smart skin interprets hand movements using artificial intelligence.
The smart skin in question consists of a biocompatible material that can be sprayed on the hands and arms like sunscreen. By using this material, you can do things like identifying objects by touching and typing without the need for a keyboard.
In part of an article that is the result of a study by Stanford University scientists, we read: “Electronic devices, such as gloves and electronic skins, can track human hand movements and perform tasks such as object recognition and motion gesture thanks to machine learning technology.” The researchers say that their new smart skin is much thinner and easier to use than other similar systems.
The sprayed material is a type of nanomesh (a web-like and elastic material) that bends and moves with the body’s skin. Nanomesh contains an array of tiny electrical sensors that detect hand movements and send the data to an artificial intelligence system for interpretation. The use of machine learning makes it possible to personalize nanomesh for each user.
Zhenan Bao, professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University and senior researcher of the smart skin project, says that during finger movements, the nanowires in the mesh network are compressed and change the electrical conductivity of the network. These changes are measured and interpreted to accurately determine how the hand, finger, or joint is moving.
The smart skin of Stanford University researchers is not only used to control devices such as phones and laptops, but may one day be used in virtual reality systems as well. Thanks to the smart skin, you can say goodbye to big controllers or gloves for virtual reality platforms.
Smart skin will also be used in various other fields such as medicine. For example, surgeons may one day be able to perform surgery remotely using smart skin and relying on robotic systems. Stanford University team members say that their smart skin enables the recognition of various objects through touch.
We are definitely not going to see commercial production of Stanford University’s smart skin anytime soon. Much more research needs to be done to optimize this smart skin.