One of the barriers to complete immersion in virtual reality environments is the lack of complex tactile feedback. Most VR controllers have haptic engines inside of them, but that’s pretty much the limit of what VR controllers can offer in terms of immersion. Samsung, however, is trying to bring more sense to VR and has recently showcased a new technology called e-skin.
To be precise, Professor Unryong Jeong of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at POSTECH has received support from Samsung Electronics for five years through the Future Technology Promotion Project.
More recently, Professor Jeong and Samsung revealed the result of this multi-year research project on e-skin. The latter is a new technology that tries to simulate various senses similar to human skin, from pain to temperature and pressure changes.
A next-level VR game controller and potentially a medical device
The human skin is analogous to a circuit made up of electrical currents. It’s an extremely complex organ that communicates with the brain through the nervous system. Imitating this biological wonder is not an easy task. However, research on e-skin looks promising, as demonstrated by Professor Jeong and Samsung in the video below.
E-skin could not only revolutionize virtual reality but also has the potential of a medical device. For example, roughly 40% of patients in nursing hospital experience bedsores. A mattress equipped with a layer of e-skin could sense pressure changes, and patients or nurses could monitor the situation and get warnings through a connected smartphone app. Check out the video below.