Want to tickle your phone? There’s a skin for that

What: Designers have created an eerily realistic human-like artificial phone cover which responds to touch in a novel and unexpected way.

The cover, called Skin-On Interfaces was created by French researcher and interaction designer Marc Teyssier and his colleagues and is intended to add new input gestures to mobile phone users.

“Skin-On Interfaces are sensitive skin-like input methods than [sic] can be added to existing devices to increase their capabilities.”, Teyssier explains.

Why: The idea behind the artificial skin, which can also be worn on smartwatches or computer touchpads, was to add to devices the type of interaction which human skin adds[??] to human interaction.

“[…] I wanted to make available the perfect human interface that is the skin for existing devices.”, says Teyssier

What this video showcasing the invention

How: The team, working out of UK’s design lab Bristol Interaction Group, indeed took inspiration from the human skin. They

reproduced different aspects in a way that gives the artificial skin visual, tactile and kinesthetic qualities akin to those in human skin.

As a result, they got it to respond to gestures like touch, tickle, pinching, applying pressure and others.

Congratulations, now you can tickle and pinch your phone and get it to produce a fitting response.

You’re not alone if you think that such an invention might take on a more meaningful application if used in prosthetics or robotics for instance.

Yet, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.