Virtual Skin Allows You to Move Objects with a Flick of Your Hand

Using a magnetic field, this highly advanced technology allows you to type on a virtual computer or change the brightness of the lamp beside you.

A newly developed ‘e-skin’ blurs the line between physical and virtual reality. With this almost magical set of skin, you can interact with objects in VR (virtual reality) without physically interacting with them.

This skin can be described as looking almost like a tattoo. Once on, it becomes almost non-existent; the material is thinner than a single strand of hair. This has only been possible before in sci-fi movies, but now it could be available internationally in the very near future. 

The e-skin has many individual magnetic sensors embedded in the material that works in tandem with a permanent magnet. These help to detect the physical motions the user is performing, which are then relayed to a connected software.

The VR skin allows you to complete every movement and motion. Anything you do in physical reality can be carried out in virtual reality through this skin set.

The lead author of the study, Gilbert Cañon Bermudez, describes the skin as tracing the movement your hand makes by flipping between all of the magnets embedded in the e-skin. This allows custom rotations and angles to simplify every part of your movement and get it exactly right in the VR world. 

This breakthrough tech is still at a very early stage, but the skins’ potential has already been demonstrated in a few videos made by the researchers. 

Denys Makarov, the co-author of the study, explained that by using angles specifically between 0 and 180 degrees, they can adjust them to correlate with a specific hand movement. This is all controlled by the permanent magnet.

It’s not uncommon for virtual reality to allow manipulation of VR objects. But the tech usually involved with virtual reality are bulky and difficult, preventing the user from doing many things that they would like to do. This new set of skin offers a major breakthrough for all of the nuisances that are typically associated with VR.

Even still in its early developmental stages, researchers have multiple plans involving the e-skin. The main one would be switching the permanent magnet to Earth’s very own electromagnetic field.

I’m sure the final project will be jaw-dropping.

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