This smart spray-on skin uses AI to let you type without a keyboard
What if you could spray something on your skin and then suddenly start typing without a keyboard? That seems to be the idea behind a new smart spray-on skin that lets you type and use apps on your phone and computer without having to touch either.
The smart skin was developed by Stanford researchers, and the results of the new technology are presented in electronic nature. The spray consists of a biocompatible material that you spray on your hand or arm like sunscreen. And using machine learning, it can determine exactly where to type on a keyboard, as well as monitor gestures and interact with apps.
It’s an intriguing proposition that could help define the future of how we interact with various electronic devices. However, I bet something like this won’t become mainstream for years to come, especially if it can’t be tweaked to ensure fewer mistakes than seen in a video of the tech at work.
But that doesn’t make this smart spray-on skin any less impressive. And because this biocompatible skin is thinner than gloves or other electronic skins, it is much less intrusive and allows for much easier long-term use. The spray, the researchers say, consists of a nanomesh that can bend and move around your skin.
That nanomesh then contains tons of tiny electrical sensors that pick up your movements and send them to an AI, which then translates them. So in the example the researchers provide, it’s able to use AI to determine where you might be typing on a keyboard. It’s pretty much bug-free, but the AI is still far from providing completely bug-free answers.
But this smart spray-on skin is not only linked to control keyboards. The researchers also say that it can be used to control apps on your smartphone and even VR applications. It may not let you feel things in VR, but it certainly looks a lot nicer on your hand than Facebook’s VR Glove.
In addition, such technology can open the door to a large number of new advances, not only in the field of mobile device interaction, but can also make augmented reality more attractive if you can control it better . With Apple planning to send AR images straight to your eyes, this could help create more immersive experiences when connected to other devices.