Concept: The Case for phone artificial human skin

The device responds to tweaking, stroking and tickling.

French engineers have developed a device similar to a piece of human skin, which allows you to control your phone, laptop or smart watch using gestures. It is reported by New Scientist.

The Skin-On interface was developed by Marc Teyssier together with colleagues from the French University Telecom Paris. Faux leather recognizes gestures, including stroking, tweaking, tickling, and bumping. Tessi told the publication that he created the concept because he “wanted to pinch his phone.”

Skin-On is able to associate different gestures with certain human emotions. For example, a “skin” blow will be regarded as an expression of a user’s anger, and stroking as a cheering.

I study touch in human-computer interaction. When we speak with a person in person, we sometimes touch him to express emotions or to enrich the conversation as a whole.

Now, communicating with each other through gadgets, we lose this feeling.

Mark Tessie


To demonstrate the operation of the interface, the team developed a phone case, a touchpad for a laptop and a strap for smart watches. By connecting the device to a computer, it can be used as a controller.

The team developed two prototypes of “skin”: one with an “ultra-realistic” texture resembling human skin, and the second is plain with a smooth surface.

Artificial leather is made of two layers of silicone, between which there is a grid of elastic wires. A small microcontroller is used to read the signal from the sensor grid and connect the device to the smartphone.

In the future, developers plan to make the skin even more realistic – with hair and body temperature. In 2018, Tessi created a robotic finger that attaches to a smartphone.

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