Slap a Sticker on Your Skin and Control Mobile Devices

Imagine what it would be like to put a soft, flexible sticker (that looks kind of like a designer bandage) on your arm, around your finger or even hidden behind your ear. Then, when you want to answer your phone, play music or control any of your mobile devices, you’d just touch the sticker on your skin. My brain is on overdrive thinking of all the applications for this new material. At the same time, it makes me wonder how far our laziness will go in our technology-obsessed culture.

Sure, if you don’t feel like reaching into your pocket to get your mobile devices, having a sticker on your body could come in handy. In this article, I’d like to focus on how cool this tech is (rather than on how lazy we’ve become). The designs on the stickers are customizable, and they remind me of the temporary tattoos I put on my arm when I was a little girl.

At the moment, these skin stickers will only allow you to control your smartphone, but soon they will most likely be advanced enough to control all mobile devices.

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To me, the most intriguing use for these skin stickers is to create a rollout keyboard on your arm for your smartwatch. It would also come in handy if you need to answer your phone, and the phone is lost in the abyss of your oversized handbag. That has happened to me countless times.

This innovation is called iSkin, and according to the website:

This includes finger-worn devices, extensions to conventional wearable devices, and touch input stickers, all fostering direct, quick, and discreet input for mobile computing.

The scientists who created iSkin aren’t quite ready to release it to the public yet. They are still working out the kinks, like making sure the sticker on your body doesn’t accidentally make a phone call if you inadvertently bump your arm into something. For example, imagine if you had the sticker wrapped around your index finger, and it accidentally activated your mobile devices during a simple handshake.

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Since the material itself is made from biocompatible materials, and it’s flexible (stretchable), I imagine it would be comfortable to wear. I hope it’s waterproof so it withstands rain and hand washing. If it is waterproof, we’ll finally have a way to answer a call or tweet from the bathtub without drowning our phones.

People who don’t know what it is would probably just think you were wearing a fancy Band-Aid. I could see this being very helpful for people with mobility issues, or people who are unable to use their mobile devices in the traditional way. I’m excited to see iSkin become a reality and used in practical situations. You can read more about it on the links below.


YouTube: iSkin: Flexible, Stretchable and Visually Customizable On-Body Touch Sensors for Mobile Computing (by EmbodiedInteraction)

Source: Popsci, Phys.org
Photo credit: Oliver Dietze / EmbodiedInteraction

  • Hi Diana,
    Thanks for featuring this! I really like gadgets and tech that controls music. 🙂
    Many thanks!