Innovation That Matters

Wearable interface | Photo source Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

Interface tattoo allows for tactile wearable computing

Computing & Tech

The world's thinnest interactive surface could bring huge breakthroughs for the immersive technology sector.

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Spotted: Immersive technology is a snowballing trend that is showing no signs of slowing down. Springwise has already spotted various tools designed to assist augmented and virtual reality, such as haptic gloves or smart hologram glasses. Now research from the Saarland University in Germany could lead to exciting advances in this sector.

Tacttoo is the result of research from the Human Computer Interaction team at the Saarland University. It functions as an ultra-thin interface that can pick up and give out electrical signals. It can lie directly on the user’s skin, much like an electric temporary tattoo. Its extreme lightweight features mean that it can function on various complex body geometries, including the fingertip. This makes it ideal for intuitive use in various forms of technology, including haptic and immersive machines. It is also able to scale up to suit various body locations. Measuring less than 35μm, it breaks the record for thinnest tactile interface for wearable computing so far.

Tacttoo can maintain the same level of flexibility and sensitivity of standard skin, whilst delivering high-density tactile output. This allows for seamless integration into common activities. Most exciting to consider with regard to future potential is the possible use of tactile augmented reality. Immersive technology that relies on movement and skin contact could improve in responsiveness and accuracy with Tacttoo.

Thus far, Tacttoo has undergone two psychophysical studies and a technical evaluation. These concluded that the interface functions effectively, with particular focus on its feel-through properties and durability.




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