Ditch the keyboard and mouse, go with Skinput

Paul Raven @ 05-03-2010

Although my aesthetic tastes tend toward the more retro versions of cyberpunk style (born in the final few years of Gen X, can’t help it), I’m still very seduced by the sheer pragmatic awesome of using your body as an input device for your portable hardware [via SlashDot].

Need to turn down the volume on your PMP? No problem; just jab a finger at your left forearm.

[… the] Skinput prototype is a system that monitors acoustic signals on your arm to translate gestures and taps into input commands. Just by touching different points on your limb you can tell your portable device to change volume, answer a call, or turn itself off. Even better, Harrison can couple Skinput with a pico projector so that you can see a graphic interface on your arm and use the acoustic signals to control it.

Projector, pah. A proper cyberpunk would get the controls tattooed on there instead. 🙂

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5 Responses to “Ditch the keyboard and mouse, go with Skinput”

  1. Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) says:

    A proper cyberpunk would get the controls tattooed on there instead. 🙂

    What an interesting version update problem!

  2. LAG says:

    Looks to me like the Divine Sarah was ahead of the curve. That wasn’t ink on her palm, it was a Write-Rewrite Memory Input Aid.

  3. Brenda Cooper says:

    I actually saw this work a few days ago at the Microsoft campus. I got invited to the public day of the annual Microsoft Techfest last Tuedsday, and this was quite cool research.
    The same team played an air version of Guitar hero using a device that circled their forearm but which they did not hold.
    It was actually quite compelling, although also a little funny. The idea is to create a natural interface that we can use as we, for exmaple, walk. You know how we hear people talking to the air as they walk by (even though they are really in the phone, and we just can’t see the leads). Can you imagine them walking about and talking with their hands to to no one at all. Soon we’ll all look certifiably crazed.

  4. Sarah Ennals says:

    I admit I sometimes miss the days when only crazy people yelled at the empty air, since they at least yelled interesting things, whereas somebody with a bad celphone connections sits there bellowing “I’M ON MY WAY HOME DO YOU WANT ME TO PICK ANYTHING UP AT THE STORE!!!”

  5. Sarah Ennals says:

    Also, I’m a little disappointed with the pico projector – I’d want my skin to light up from inside, dammit.