Video of the Month: SkinTrack: A Wireless System That Turns Your Skin Into A Touchscreen

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10 years of news and resources for members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society

Video of the Month: SkinTrack: A Wireless System That Turns Your Skin Into A Touchscreen

SkinTrack: Using the Body as an Electrical Waveguide for Continuous Finger Tracking on the Skin

Courtesy of the Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers from the Future Interfaces Group, an interdisciplinary research lab at Carnegie Mellon University, have developed a wearable interface that turns the skin on your arm into a touchscreen for your smartwatch.

The invention, named SkinTrack, consists of a ring, which emits a continuous high frequency AC signal, and a sensing wristband with multiple electrodes. When the finger wearing the ring touches the skin, the AC signal propagates through your arm. Depending on the difference in the phase of the ring’s signal, the position of the fingertip can be determined and then translated into a command in one of the smart watch’s applications. "The great thing about SkinTrack is that it’s not obtrusive; watches and rings are items that people already wear everyday," said Yang Zhang, a first-year Ph.D. student at CMU who presented SkinTrack at ACM CHI 2016, in San Jose, CA.

To find more cool stuff from the Future Interfaces Group, check out their website at http://www.figlab.com/.

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