New Bio-Adhesive ‘AI Smart Skin’ Spray Could Replace Keyboards

Adhesives, Industry News,

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a bio-compatible adhesive material for use as a spray-on smart skin which the researchers report may change the need for keyboards. Instead, the researcher’s spray-on skin, with AI as an interpreter, could change various online immersive environments such as gaming, tele-medicine, and robotics, by identifying objects according to touch, and communicating using hand gestures.

The spray-on skin remains breathable and bio-compatible and after being sprayed onto the back or front of the hand, stays firmly attached. It can only be removed by being washed off with water and soap.

According to the researchers, the spray-on skin is an electrically sensitive nanomesh adhesive network of millions of silver nanowires coated with gold and embedded in polyurethane. These nanowires, the researchers report, are in contact with one another and therefore electrically active and create dynamic electrical pathways. However, when the “skin” is sprayed on, nanowires’ electrical conductivity changes and the wires can squeeze and stretch in response to fingers on the sprayed hand moving or twisting. 

According to the research team, these changes in the wires’ electrical conductivity can then be measured and analyzed using computers to determine how the hand is moving and link that to specific tasks and gestures, a process which the researchers report could lead to the demise of keyboards as algorithms learn to recognize motions through how patterns created by changes in electrical conductivity. 

Source: GlobalSpec/IEEE


While adhered to the hand, the research team reports that the bio-compatible nanomesh adhesive spray-skin, using AI’s artificial intelligence, appears able to identify and interpret the movements and gestures made by the sprayed hand.