According to Lynette Jones, a senior research scientist in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, your skin has about as many sensory receptors as your eyeballs, making it a hugely underutilized medium for receiving information. The problem with skin, though, is that those receptors are spread out over 1.8 square meters, and we don’t currently have a very good idea of how sensitive a given patch of epidermis is going to be. We can feel a phone vibrating through our pants, sure. But could we tell if it was buzzing in a particular pattern? Or just vibrating its left side, as opposed to the right? These are the questions Jones is trying to answer, with an eye towards next-gen devices that don’t just pump info into our eyes and ears, but directly onto our hides, too.
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