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Implanted user interfaces

May 11, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
autodesk_implanted_user_interface1.jpgMay 7, 2012 via -- Scientists at Autodesk Research and their colleagues have tested a dozen or so different user interface implants, Txchnologist reports. Input devices included microphones for audio; buttons, pressure sensors and tap sensors for input via direct touching of the skin; and brightness sensors and capacitive sensors -- the kind now often found in mobile device touchscreens -- for input through motions above the skin. Output devices they examined included audio speakers, LEDs, and vibration motors. Wireless communications were enabled using Bluetooth, and wireless recharging was tested with inductive chargers, the kind seen with cordless power tools.

To see how well these devices might operate under the skin, researchers implanted them in an arm from a lightly embalmed cadaver, between the skin and the underlying fatty tissue. They also developed artificial patches of skin made from silicone that people could wear on their forearms and walk around with -- these covered the devices, simulating implantation.

autodesk_implanted_user_interface2.jpg"We showed these can all still operate through the skin," said Autodesk researcher Tovi Grossman. "These results open up a lot of possibilities."

The scientists will present their work Monday May 7 at the CHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Austin, Texas.

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