How The Electronic Skin Sensor iSkin Works

How The Electronic Skin Sensor iSkin Works


A skin-worn sensor that turns the human body into a touch-sensitive surface for controlling mobile devices has been developed by scientists in Germany.

Named iSkin , the sensor is made from bio-compatible silicone rubber with pressure –sensitive sensors that are stuck to the skin of the users, allowing them to use their own body to control mobile devices.

Developed by scientists at Max Planck Institute for Informatics and Saarland University, the experimental system has been produced in different shapes and sizes to suit various locations on the body, such as the finger, forearm or behind the ear-lobe . It is capable of detecting touch input pressure even while being stretched or bent. With the current prototypes, wearers can answer incoming calls, play music and adjust volume.

The base material is poly-dimethyl-siloxane ( PDMS ), an easy to process silicon based organic polymer. Conductive carbon black powder is spread flat by a thin-film applicator. After creating the tattoo-like designs on a computer, a laser cutter traces out the design, which makes up the sensor. It is then sandwiched between the two clear sheets of silicone. The stickers are attached to the body using a medical-grade adhesive that can be easily peeled off after use, without hurting the skin.