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It seems like everyday I find myself reminiscing with someone about a once popular but now laughable piece of technology. My nostalgic musings on the ridiculousness of the Zack Morris phone or the StarTac are inevitably concluded with a smug scroll through the galaxy of apps that now populate my super-smart phone. “How did I survive without my blackberry?” I often hear. How indeed.

But just as I congratulate myself that I stand firmly at the pinnacle of consumer gadgetry the clouds open and I catch a humbling glimpse of a distant peak. One such moment came recently when I learned of a collaboration between Microsoft and Carnegie Melon University to develop “Skinput” technology, which “turns the human body into a giant touch screen.”

The device is in its infancy and presently involves a cumbersome armband and projector, but researchers have already used it to perform an impressive variety of tasks. Skinput senses vibrations in different areas of the body, like when you touch your fingers or even different parts of your palm, and coordinates these inputs with a screen projected onto the skin. Chris Harrison, one of the project’s leaders, “envisions a future device no larger than a small stack of coins, worn around the wrist or bicep, with all the capabilities of an iPhone.”

Zoiks! Two minutes ago I was blissfully ignorant thinking that my 3.5-inch touch screen offered everything that I’d ever need, but now I’m afraid that Zack and I have more in common than I was willing to admit.

by Cody Short Brand Futurist The Republik Corporal Strategic Ops

Photo Credit: © Chris Harrison