Nokia Research Center today showed off some demos of their current projects. These projects include a very wide variety and might just give us a glimpse of what to come in the future. Here is one of the projects, Stretchable electronic skin. The team is working on ways to enable touchscreens to offer more realistic feedback. This goes way beyond simple haptics to deliver genuine tactile response.
About Stretchable electronic skin
Right now, circuit boards are solid. The team at Cambridge however are working on a technology that'll enable them to be flexible, creating something akin to "electronic skin". By using evaporated gold as a conductor, they have created an electronic touchpad which can be stretched like a rubber band, but still respond to touch and pressure. The team has been testing it to stretch by up to 20 per cent of its original length without any drop in performance. The process of creating the material is pretty unique and the results are utterly mind-boggling, when you start to think about the possibilities it offers.
The potential application: This research has at its heart new form factors for devices of the future. The possibilities might sound hard to believe, but working technology which can be twisted and distorted like a rubber band could enable a unique range of wearable devices or even enable technology to feasibly become part of our clothing. After we?d seen it, the talk from the group was of us having completely different ways of us interacting with technology in the future. What is solid and known to us right now, could be flexible and entirely different in the future.