Spray-on smart skin allows users to type on their phones using virtual QWERTY keyboards

Many smartphone users want to escape from the cramped QWERTY keyboard that comes with their handset and use a virtual QWERTY that can be displayed like a hologram on the table in front of them. This virtual keyboard can be the same size as the QWERTY used on desktop computers which gives the user more space to type. This will result in faster and more accurate text input by smartphone users.

Or suppose you want to play mobile games on your phone without having to use a controller or even touch your handset. Sure, your hands will be flying in the air like an orchestra conductor, but when people find out what you do, they will be amazed. You will be able to navigate through your application doing the same thing.

Spraying on a smart skin can allow you to use a virtual keyboard instead of your phone’s QWERTY

According to NatureElectronics (via TheDailyBeast), Stanford University researchers have worked on a smart skin that will use artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret a person’s movements. This smart skin can be sprayed from a can like shaving cream. The spray is called “nanomesh,” and it’s a stretchable mesh-like material that can move and bend with your skin. It uses small electrical sensors that pick up your movements and send them to the neuro processing unit (NPU) for interpretation. Using machine learning, the system learns how each user interacts with the smart skin in terms of custom hand gestures.
The sensitive mesh network is embedded in polyurethane and consists of millions of nanowires coated with gold and silver. The mesh stays on the skin until it is washed off with soap and water. It also conforms to the wrinkles and folds that each individual finger has. A lightweight Bluetooth transmitter is embedded in the mesh that allows it to transmit signal changes.

Zhenan Bao, professor of chemical engineering at Stanford and senior author of the study, said, “As the finger bends and twists, the nanowires in the mesh are squeezed together and stretched, changing the electrical conductivity of the mesh. These changes can be measured and analyzed to tell us exactly how the hand or fingers or joints that move”.

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Smart skin is washed with soap and water

Kyun Kyu “Richard” Kim, a post-doctoral scholar in Bao’s lab and first author on the study said, “We bring an aspect of human learning that rapidly adapts to tasks with just a few trials known as ‘meta-learning.’ allows the tool to quickly recognize new arbitrary hand tasks and users with a few quick experiments. Kim added, “Furthermore, it is a simple approach to this complex challenge that means we can achieve faster computational processing times with less data because our nanomesh captures the details subtle in its coverage,”

Future uses of this technology include smartphones, apps, and games. Surgeons will be able to spray smart skin on their hands and control robotic surgeons in operating rooms hundreds of miles away. The skin can also be used to touch an item and find out everything about that particular item. The Daily Beast Liken this feature to “wearable Google Lens” which is a good analogy.

Let’s see how virtual QWERTY will work. Using machine learning, an algorithm can learn the movements needed to type the letter “X” on the keyboard based on electrical conductivity patterns. Once the algorithm is “trained” to recognize the algorithm for all letters, numbers, punctuation marks, etc., a physical keyboard is no longer needed. And this will open up the ability to type on a virtual keyboard that can be easier and more accurate to type than your phone’s QWERTY.


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