When it comes to virtual reality systems, sensors that ‘fit like a glove’ aren’t good enough anymore. Now, we want such sensors to fit more like skin. That’s what researchers have accomplished in a paper published today in Science Advances.
Denys Makarov at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, in Germany, and his colleagues, have engineered a magnetosensitive electronic skin, or e-skin, with directional perception. The device can track the subtle motions of the human hand, and is so thin and flexible that is tangibly imperceptible.
The e-skin could be a substitute for the bulky, often motion-restraining gloves of virtual reality environments, the researchers say. It could also enable a user to interact, using mere gestures, with everyday objects in the physical world and in augmented reality applications.