With the technology evolving everyday, a new wearable product is currently cooking up at Microsoft Research in collaboration with PhD students from the MIT Media Lab.
The research product dubbed "DuoSkin" is a "temporary tattoo" that once attach to your skin act as a touchpad, allow users to interact with connected interfaces, remotely control your smartphone, and even share data using NFC.
DuoSkin devices enable users to control their mobile devices, display information, and store information on their skin while serving as a statement of personal style.
This is not first time researchers have worked on such device is—back in 2010, a Carnegie Mellon student also designed a wearable gesture-based project entitled "Skinput", which allow users to simply tap their skin in order to control audio devices, play games, make phone calls, and navigate hierarchical browsing systems.
This was also aided by Microsoft Research.
"In Skinput, a keyboard, menu, or other graphics are beamed onto a user's palm and forearm from a pico projector embedded in an armband. An acoustic detector in the armband then determines which part of the display is activated by the user's touch," expalined the researchers.
As the researchers explain further, variations in bone density, size, and mass, as well as filtering effects from soft tissues and joints, mean different skin locations are acoustically distinct.
Their software matches sound frequencies to specific skin locations, allowing the system to determine which "skin button" the user pressed.
You can find more information on this project here.
DuoSkin, is a "fabrication process that enables anyone to create customized functional devices that can be attached directly on their skin," the researcher stated.
"Using gold metal leaf, a material that is cheap, skin-friendly, and robust for everyday wear, we demonstrate three types of on-skin interfaces: sensing touch input, displaying output, and wireless communication," the researcher explains.
The research paper (embedded under via Microsoft) presents three key use cases for the tattoo: "you could use it to turn your skin into a trackpad", "design it to change color based on temperature", "or pull data from the tattoo".
In one of the photos (see under via MIT) the tattoo even includes LED lights, creating a kind of glowing display on the skin.
The research team explaining further said "DuoSkin draws from the aesthetics found in metallic jewelry-like temporary tattoos to create on-skin devices which resemble jewelry."
For the moment, however, if successful, it'll allow users to interact with DuoSkin using buttons, sliders and 2D trackpads.
In addition, the technology, also has the ability to output soft colored displays on the skin.
You can visit the DuoSkin website at MIT for more information on the project, or the watch video under: