Technology: Skin Used As An Input Device

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft are working on using bio-acoustic sensors and teeny-tiny projectors worn in armbands. The projectors beam images onto the skin of your forearm — when you tap on them, ripples run through your skin and bones. Sensors pick up on these waves, and convey those commands to your MP3 player or other device.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

People who listen to music online can try some new things as well. Of course, right now you click on a computer playlist, you scroll around an mp3 player, you get smaller and smaller, youre looking on a little tiny phone trying to get your music on there. Soon you might just be able to touch your arm to select a new track.

That's our last word in business today.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and Microsoft are working on a new technology. It uses what are called bio-acoustic sensors and tiny projectors worn in arm bands. The projectors beam images onto the skin of your forearm and when you tap on them ripples run through your skin and bones, sensors pick up on the waves and convey the commands to your device, which you dont have to bother to touch.

So, the next time you see somebody tapping on their wrist, it may not be a nervous tick or too much coffee. Maybe they're just playing a music track of some steel guitar.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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