What does a “virtual reality skin” that conveys touch and can be used for social media?

According to an engineering study published on the 21st in the British journal Nature, a team of US scientists reported a wireless touch sensitive interface that can communicate and cover the skin surface. The device communicates information through mechanical vibration and can be used as a virtual reality synthetic skin for social media, prosthetic control and video games.

virtual reality technology is also called spiritual environment technology. It includes computer, electronic information, simulation technology and so on. The most basic way to realize it is to simulate virtual environment by computer, so as to give people a sense of environmental immersion. As the name implies, “VR skin” is a technology that enables users to experience virtual objects in virtual reality through a piece of “skin”.

many methods to realize the so-called communicable “VR skin” need to rely on multiple sets of wire electrodes attached to the wearer’s body. These electrodes stimulate the sensory experience by creating vibrations. However, it has been proved that it is not easy to find the appropriate voltage and current to generate the target response without causing pain or electrical stimulation damage to the skin.

in order to create a more comfortable flexible interface, Northwestern University researcher John Rogers and his colleagues designed a device including a wireless battery free electronic system and a wearable touch sensitive interface system, and described the required materials, device structure, power supply strategy and communication scheme. This “VR skin” can realize electronic programmable communication and sensory input of the body through vibration actuator array embedded in flexible materials.

the research team demonstrated the function of this “VR skin” with a series of applications. For example, the system can deliver tactile feelings to loved ones through social media, copy the shape of objects grasped by hand prostheses, and let video game players feel the attack in combat games when wearing them.

is tactile experience or obstacle in VR? By wearing “VR skin”, you can feel the smoothness of silk and the roughness of gravel, the warmth of a dog and the cold of a snake in the virtual environment, and pass this feeling to others. What’s more, its wireless battery free design greatly enhances the user’s immersive experience. In the real world, this prototype may also be used in the field of neuroscience for rehabilitation research. Some patients who have lost their sense of touch are likely to recover the feeling of touching through it.

Author: zmhuaxia