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An innovative discovery: a synthetic skin realized for the virtual reality. This special skin is able to transmit mechanic vibrations thanks to wireless connections. But that’s not all infact the usages of this technology can deal between the most interesting fields.
The synthetic skin between videogames and reality
This special skin will allow to feel what happens in the virtual reality, but even what is happening far away with applications, besides than the videogames, on the social media. The most interesting breakthrough is though in the medical field, infact this technology can be applied to improve the prosthesis of the robotic arms. The magazine Nature talked about it, the new technology was developed by the group of the Northwestern University coordinated by John Rogers.
The synthetic skin was developed by one of the main scientists and technologists of the world, about the topic of the wearable electronic, a really required field in the last years. According to Calogero Oddo, of the Institute of Biorobotics of the High School Sant’Anna in Pisa, the artificial skin might be used in the telephony, like an addition to the videocalls of the smartphones, on order than one day the telephone will be even wearable. In this way Oddo imagines a future where, besides to the classic video calls, we can have shake our hands.
The materials used for the realization
This special device is composed by an electronic sheet of plastic material soft and light. Its surface can stick on the skin by perfectly conforming to the body of who wears it. Inside the sheet there are a serie of actuators, some mechanic components which are able to convert the electric energy in real vibrations. The supply of the device is wireless, through an antenna, to make it more practical and handy to wear and it doesn’t need unconfortable batteries. A real revolution compared with the prototypes realized until now.
Another absolute new is the extreme flexibility of this sheet, that will allow to cover any arm, let’s think for example to who lost an arm. With this special material it will be possible to cover the residual arm and to overlap a robotic prosthesis. This will be able to send signs about the object touched by the synthetic skin and the person so will be able to feel the shape and other informations about the object.
The prototype realized of this special skin is a little sheet 15×15 cm, equipped with 32 thiny actuators able to vibrate for 200 cycles per second, each one of them is wrapped with a polymeric soft and elastic material which can stick on the body without the need of glues. The communication of the synthetic skin with the devices like tablets and smartphones happens through NFC (near-field communication).
The applications in the videogames and in the social media
Shortly so it can become a reality like the suit worn by the protagonists of the movie of Spielberg Ready Player One, that, once worn, it sends to the player all the feelings about what is happening inside the game. Both if they are pressures, the blow of the wind, the heat, all of it can be felt to create a fully immersive experience, by perfectly recreating the tactile perceptions of the figures of the videogame.
Other possible applications besides the videogames can be the social media. Between two people connected remotely thanks to a PC, equipped with these devices and a touch screen, it will be possible to exchange caresses only touching the image of another person on the screen.
This post is also available in: Italiano