Microsoft Research
Computational User Experiences

Skinput: Appropriating the Body as an Input Surface

We present Skinput, a technology that appropriates the human body for acoustic transmission, allowing the skin to be used as an input surface. In particular, we resolve the location of finger taps on the arm and hand by analyzing mechanical vibrations that propagate through the body. We collect these signals using a novel array of sensors worn as an armband. This approach provides an always available, naturally portable, and on-body finger input system. We assess the capabilities, accuracy and limitations of our technique through a two-part, twenty-participant user study. To further illustrate the utility of our approach, we conclude with several proof-of-concept applications we developed.


Project Team


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Skinput: Appropriating the Skin as an Interactive Canvas

Chris Harrison, Desney Tan, Dan Morris

Communications of the ACM 54.8, August 2011

Skinput: Appropriating the Body as an Input Surface

Chris Harrison, Desney S Tan, Dan Morris

Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 (Best paper award)



Contact Dan Morris for questions about our work in this area.

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