In the journal Science Advances published a study on the prospects of “electronic skin” – a new type of interface. Thin film contains items for manipulating the magnetic field with a sufficiently high accuracy. She can give a format gloves and using a signal receiver to record the slightest movement of the fingers, discerning complex gestures of the person.

Virtual reality tends to two classic types of manipulators for working with objects in the digital space. This is the controller you want to take in hand, or camera to track the position of the hand in space. The Achilles heel of both systems is the high uncertainty, the lack of the ability to accurately detect small movements. In the end, the user misses by buttons of the virtual keyboard, makes mistakes in games, etc.

In contrast to “electronic skin” works as an array of sensors, distributed over the entire surface of hands. Special software calculates the impact of each on the magnetic field of the receiver. That is, it is possible to move different fingers and it will be interpreted as a series of individual actions. The user does not even need to see what he “feels” in the virtual space – the system will still react to these gestures.

The authors describe three application areas of this technology. The first-and most obvious — improved precision of interaction with the virtual environment. The second is that you can manipulate with an infinite range of objects in augmented reality. Today we are given only to press the game, but tomorrow we will be able to clean electronic hand virtual orange. And the third direction is to improve the accuracy of prosthetic devices and remote access, for example, manipulators sapper robot. The sensitivity of “electronic skin” allows you to do it.

Source — Washington Post