Style-conscious consumers seeking wearable functionality without donning conspicuous gadgets can look forward to technology like iSkin. The prototype skin patch, developed at Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Informatics, can control electronic devices such as a smart phone.
iSkin is a clear, thin piece of silicon with medical-grade adhesive worn directly on the skin. It employs touch-sensitive sensors, allowing users to manipulate it. Currently, users need to hardwire it to a computer to work, but the Max Planck team is researching ways to make it wireless. They are also considering the possibility of harnessing body energy to power it.
Given its discreet nature, iSkin has potential applications for smart clothing and jewelry, where clunky electronics would be a hindrance. Users can wear the patch on multiple areas of the body, including on the wrist, head or behind the ear, allowing them to customize its visibility.
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