This smartwatch turns your skin into a touchscreen

Atmel | Bits & Pieces

Developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Future Interfaces Group, Skin Buttons are touch-sensitive projected icons made on a user’s skin.

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While smartwatches are a promising new interactive platform, their small size makes even basic actions cumbersome. As a result, the Carnegie Mellon team has designed a new way to “expand the interactive envelope around smartwatches, allowing human input to escape the small physical confines of the device.”

Using tiny laser projects that are integrated into the smartwatch to render touch-sensitive icons allows for the expansion of the interaction region without increasing device size, and more importantly, sacrificing precious real estate on a wearer’s arm.

“Maybe in 15 or 20 years you’ll have a device that’s as powerful as a smartphone but has no screen at all,” explained Chris Harrison, Head of the Future Interfaces Group. “Instead it’s like a little box of matches that you plunk down on the table in front of you and now all of a…

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