A team from the Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University has invented a new technology that utilizes a person’s skin as a touch-based interface for mobile devices. Called SkinTrack, the technology involves a sensor-equipped watchband and a signal-emitting ring. When the finger wearing the ring touches the arm wearing the watch, SkinTrack can sense where the finger is and use it as an input device. For example, smartwatch wearers could “dock” apps on their elbows and open them up just by touching that spot. The technology could also make it much easier to play games on smartwatches despite the small screen size.
Mobile development firms that would like to experiment with SkinTrack will have a while to wait as the researchers are still refining it. However, it could eventually open up a lot of new possibilities for smartwatch apps.