Stop. I’m telling you right now, you can quit using the excuse that you shave your body for swimming and bike riding adventures as a cover-up for your camouflage body painting hobby. Instead, you can now tell everyone that your body is being prepped as a touchpad of epic proportion.

We’re stuffing every oversize pore with the idea of projected UI wherever you go, but the latest Human-Computer Interaction experiment from Chris Harrison called Skinput turns your skin into an input device that’s hard to tear off.


Chris describes Skinput as a “Bioacoustic Sensing Technology that allows our body to be used as a large finger input surface.”

It’s not everyday, someone says your body can be used as a large finger input surface. Here’s the video to show how it’s all going to happen…

Application for Product Design

Obviously, you’ll be using this instead of mice, keyboards or 3D mice by the summer, because it’s so practical and full of possibilities, even if you have a bad rash or no skin at all. There really needs to be only one button. The ROCK IT button that triggers endorphins to your head anytime someone tells you to redesign something for the 5th time within budget.

It’s another interesting look at a supplemental ‘device’ to manipulate, modify and interact with geometry. With the idea that other surfaces can be used as points of interaction to start and finish a command, it feasible that those surfaces could also be used as points of interaction throughout the command process with no further interaction on the part of the user.

Skinput showed up last month, but will make it’s official debut in April at CHI2010. You can read more about Harrison’s project here (personal site) and here (Microsoft Research .pdf)

New Scientist via C Sven


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.