SkinKit offers versatile, wearable on-skin computing

By Tom Fleischman: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Personal computing has gotten smaller and more intimate over the years – from the desktop computer to the laptop, to smartphones and tablets, to smart watches and smart glasses.

But the next generation of wearable computing technology – for health and wellness, social interaction and myriad other applications – will be even closer to the wearer than a watch or glasses: It will be affixed to the skin.

On-skin interfaces – sometimes known as “smart tattoos” – have the potential to outperform the sensing capabilities of current wearable technologies, but combining comfort and durability has proven challenging. Now, members of Cornell’s Hybrid Body Lab have come up with a reliable, skin-tight interface that’s easy to attach and detach, and can be used for a variety of purposes – from health monitoring to fashion.

Doctoral student and lab member Pin-Sung Ku is lead author of “SkinKit: Construction Kit for On-Skin Interface Prototyping,” which was presented in September at UbiComp ’22, the Association for Computing Machinery’s international joint conference on pervasive and ubiquitous computing.

“We’ve been working on this for years, and I think we’ve finally figured out a lot of the technical challenges,” said Cindy (Hsin-Liu) Kao, assistant professor of human centered design in the College of Human Ecology, and the study’s senior author. “We wanted to create a modular approach to smart tattoos, to make them as straightforward as building Legos.”

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