When we look for gadgets to buy, we always make a point to try and find versatile gadgets that offer the most usability in the least obtrusive package.
This demand from the customer side is what forces various companies to come up with innovative ways of packing the biggest bang in the smallest form factor.
However, no matter how small the electronics inside it get, the size of the gadget still can’t cross a certain barrier, as the interface used to control these gadgets remains both big and rigid.
While some companies have been trying to create smaller devices to bypass this issue, they still aren’t able to make it appealing to consumers, as reducing the size of the device doesn’t always make it more practical to use.
One possible solution for this issue is the creation of flexible electronic devices, which don’t need a hard shape to fixate around, thus making them ideal for usage in all sorts of conditions.
Taking this possible solution to the next level are researchers from Microsoft Research and MIT Media Lab, who have found a way to create flexible electronics based on the most versatile touch interface in the world, human skin.
What we are talking about is DuoSkin, an electronic second skin that turns your body into a stylish touchpad. In order to do so, it takes the form of a temporary tattoo with embedded electronics that can be pasted on the surface of the skin.
These tattoo’s can be programmed to function in various capacities, such as a trackpad, a capacitive touch screen and even a NFC module.
Through these different types of interfaces, the user can control various devices and get them to function without the need for any traditional means of input.
To create such an amazing creation, the researchers used CAD Software to design the circuitry, which were then printed and further coated with gold flake.
This production process is designed to provide flexibility in both circuit design as well as design of the tattoo itself, so that the interface can take different shapes depending on the user’s style.
The plan is to expand the uses of this product, so that it can also be used as a means of sensing output from the devices as well, thus making it an all rounder product.
While it goes without saying that it will take a long time before such technology becomes commonplace in the market, but it’s presence itself is a great indicator for all the good things to come.