Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft have teamed together to create a different type of user input system. It’s aptly called Skinput and here’s how it works:
We present Skinput, a technology that appropriates the human body for acoustic transmission, allowing the skin to be used as a finger input surface. In particular, we resolve the location of finger taps on the arm and hand by analyzing mechanical vibrations that propagate through the body. We collect these signals using a novel array of sensors worn as an armband. This approach provides an always-available, naturally-portable, and on-body interactive surface.
Veddy veddy interesting. Potential applications for such a daring input system include cell phone calls, video games, mp3 players. Is it practical? I’m not so sure. But the idea of having a hierarchical menu system accessible on your forearm and manipulated by the touch of your finger and its vibrations just sounds and looks (see the video above) so cool!