Skinput: Appropriating the Body as an Input Surface


News & features

News & features


We present Skinput, a technology that appropriates the human body for acoustic transmission, allowing the skin to be used as an input surface. In particular, we resolve the location of finger taps on the arm and hand by analyzing mechanical vibrations that propagate through the body. We collect these signals using a novel array of sensors worn as an armband. This approach provides an always available, naturally portable, and on-body finger input system. We assess the capabilities, accuracy and limitations of our technique through a two-part, twenty-participant user study. To further illustrate the utility of our approach, we conclude with several proof-of-concept applications we developed.


  • Portrait of Chris Harrison

    Chris Harrison


  • Portrait of Dan Morris

    Dan Morris

    Principal Scientist and Aspiring Rock Icon

  • Portrait of Desney Tan

    Desney Tan

    Managing Director, Microsoft Health Futures

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