You might be touching yourself to control your smartphone in the future.
Wait, that came out wrong. Still, it's not far from the truth, as scientists from the Max Planck Institute and Saarland University in Germany developed a touch-sensitive silicone which can turn any body part into a device-controlling surface.
The material, which they named iSkin, is made from biocompatible silicone rubber which is pressure sensitive and contains carbon to make it conductive.
The iSkin silicone is thin, soft and flexible and can detect touches from the wearer, including the amount of pressure applied. Yeah, take that Force Touch.
The applications for this technology are endless; we could answer or reject a call by tapping at a particular spot on our body, or control our music player in similar fashion. Scientists even hope this technology could be powered by the human body, as well.
"Current electronics are mostly using rigid components which are very uncomfortable to wear on the body and are limiting the locations to, for example, the wrist or on the head to be worn," co-developer Martin Weigel told Reuters. "But our sensor is a flexible and stretchable sensor, so it can cover many locations. For example, even the backside of the ear or the forearm. So, we have a much larger input space than current electronics allow for."
The silicone's thickness is is between 0.3 and 0.7mm, and supports both taps and firm presses.
It also supports multiple presses in different locations at the same time. During testing, iSkin was 92 per cent accurate.