Engineers at the City University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and other institutions have designed and constructed an electronic skin technology system consisting of over seven-hundred functional elements which could potentially allow the sense of touch in future entertainment AR and VR systems. The researchers also stated that the revolutionary system could provide users of prostheses with a fascinating experience of feeling the external environment through sense of touch. To achieve this futuristic experience the advanced system, which consists of multiple layers including a silicone encapsulated functional layer, an external layer of breathable fabric and a thin elastomeric layer, uses a wireless actuator to transform energy into motorised vibrations, so it can distribute sensory stimuli to the human body.
“Engineers at the City University of Hong Kong develop skin technology for enhanced AR & VR experience.“
Principal author of an article in Nature on the subject, Dr Yu Xinge, stated: “Our target is to develop electronic skin that can be comparable to human skin. Compared with similar types of equipment on the market, our new system is light and thin that can be tightly attached to human skin, also, its wire and battery free. Conventional actuators that provide sensory vibrations require power of about one-hundred milli-watts to transmit signals. However, as our new system uses radio frequency for power supply, it needs less than two milli-watts to transmit signals and produce the same level of mechanical vibrations. Thus, we solved the difficult problem of transmission by low power wireless function and significantly increased the distance of the operation for our system. This system not only saves power but also allows users to move more freely without the trouble of wires.”