FIRST AIRED: September 9, 2016

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>> What if our skin was our interface to virtual reality. This is the question a group of graduate students at London's Royal College of Art have explored in their Skinterface Project. It's a skin suit which allows the user to go from the physical to the virtual world by feeling invisible objects.
>> Virtual experiences so far, are quite limited to sound and vision. But they're not fully immersive, because you don't actually get to feel things, and in the real world, skin is our interface to everything.>> The prototype sleeve creates a sensory experience through custom made moving magnet actuators, which are imbedded in the garment.
When exposed to different sounds, they create a varying electromagnetic field. Which in turn produces varying sensations on the skin. For example, a recorded sound, such as knocking on wood, can be played onto skin via the actuators.>> So it's the actually moving magnets that are touching the skin.
But with that, you can then play different complex sound waves, different recordings, which gives quite an interesting effect.>> The colorful patches on the sleeve are then tracked in 3D space by a color tracking camera. This allows control over every individual actuated based on its assigned color code.
And the team hoped to evolved Skinterface into a much more immersive experience with possible further applications too.>> I think our next ambition would be to try and get it so that you could actually interact two ways with things. So you could touch something and then do something that would have an effect on whatever it was.
I think we see a lot of different applications for this. Our first thought was obviously gaming and entertainment, but there could eventually be medical applications and all sorts of other things, so kinda seeing where the interest lies.>> Skinterface joins a handful of similar technologies feeling their way into a more tactile future.