Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Human skin as input for mobile devices

I have been observing progress in human computer interaction for a number of years as part of my profession. It is fascinating to read about a recent paper by Chris Harrison, a third-year Ph.D. student in Carnegie Mellon University collaborated with Desney Tan and Dan Morris of Microsoft Research. The media release is titled "Carnegie Mellon Student Uses Skin as Input
For Smart Phones and Other Mobile Devices
" and can be found from the link. The paper will be presented on April 12, at CHI 2010, the Association for Computing Machinery's annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Atlanta.

Chris said: "With Skinput, we can use our own skin — the body's largest organ — as an input device. It's kind of crazy to think we could summon interfaces onto our bodies, but it turns out to make a lot of sense. Our skin is always with us, and makes the ultimate interactive touch surface."

Why is this paper important? It is because the idea (if supported and developed properly) can make tremendous impact on our interaction with computer devices and it can create a new paradigm in this field. You can see some further explanation and some photos from Chris' website here.

I'd like to obtain your views on implications of using human skin as an input device for mobile devices.