Forget LCD, OLED, and AMOLED: the next trend in touchscreens could be your skin. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft’s Redmond research lab have developed a working prototype of a system called Skinput that effectively turns your body surface into both screen and input device.

Skinput makes use of a microchip-sized pico projector embedded in an armband to beam an image onto a user’s forearm or hand. When the user taps a menu item or other control icon on the skin, an acoustic detector also in the armband analyzes the ultralow-frequency sound to determine which region of the display has been activated.

You can check out more specifics on the technology behind Skinput in the paper the group will present [warning: PDF link] in April at the Computer-Human Interaction conference in Atlanta. Another innovative muscle-based control scheme we profiled recently comes to mind as an example of where the intersection of biology and computing might be heading. Both systems are still in the early prototype stages, but offer an exciting glimpse of what the future might hold in terms of human-computer interactions.

Check out the video below and let us know what you think: would you be interested in turning your skin into a touchscreen?

[via New Scientist via PhysOrg]

Tags: futurism, HCI, microsoft, pico projector, skin, touchscreens, video