Jump to Content

SkinMarks: Enabling Interactions on Body Landmarks Using Conformal Skin Electronics

Martin Weigel
Aditya Shekhar Nittala
Jürgen Steimle
Proceedings of CHI 2017 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), ACM, pp. 3095-3105


The body provides many recognizable landmarks due to the underlying skeletal structure and variations in skin texture, elasticity, and color. The visual and spatial cues of such body landmarks can help in localizing on-body interfaces, guide input on the body, and allow for easy recall of mappings. Our main contribution are SkinMarks, novel skin-worn I/O devices for precisely localized input and output on fine body landmarks. SkinMarks comprise skin electronics on temporary rub-on tattoos. They conform to fine wrinkles and are compatible with strongly curved and elastic body locations. We identify five types of body landmarks and demonstrate novel interaction techniques that leverage SkinMarks’ unique touch, squeeze and bend sensing with integrated visual output. Finally, we detail on the conformality and evaluate sub-millimeter electrodes for touch sensing. Taken together, SkinMarks expands the on-body interaction space to more detailed, highly curved and challenging areas on the body.