Inkjet-printed onto a thin substrate of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic in less than a minute, and then adhered to the skin anywhere on the body, Multi-Touch Skin can be made in any two-dimensional shape. It incorporates two stacked layers of electrodes arranged in rows and columns, forming a grid. In its current form, each piece of the Skin is hard-wired to a touch-controller microchip, which is in turn connected to a tiny battery-powered Raspberry Pi Zero microcomputer.
That chip constantly measures the electrical capacitance at every intersection within the grid of electrodes. When the user touches the Skin at a given location, their fingertips conduct electricity, allowing the charge to drain away at that intersection (the insulating bottom layer of the Multi-Touch Skin keeps the user’s underlying skin from having an effect). The chip detects that change in capacitance, and registers it as a touch in that location – it can do so for multiple touches simultaneously.
The resulting signals are wirelessly transmitted to separate electronic devices, causing them to do different things depending on the type of touch detected.
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