Newly-developed stretchy touchpad could be worn on arm and used to play games

Newly-developed stretchy touchpad could be worn on arm and used to play games

Flexible screen is the new addition in the next generation phones and portable devices and it might even be integrated further. Researchers have developed a stretchy touchpad, which can be worn on the arm and used to play games like angry birds.

These days, touchpads and touchscreens are present on every device. But none of them can be as flexible as being integrated with the human body. Earlier as well scientists have explored stretchable touch panels, but their performance dropped significantly when stretched and completely failed when repeatedly stretched.

Researchers at Seoul National University have created a touchpad considering the problems witnessed by earlier projects. The research team has developed a touchpad using soft and very stretchable hydrogel that is also being used to make soft contact lenses. The hydrogel was having lithium chloride salts.

With the help of the touchpad, the researchers were able to draw a stick figure and play piano and chess. The touchpad was working even when it was stretched to over 10 times its normal area. In fact, it was also working when it was bent around the skin of a person’s arm.

Another interesting feature of this touchpad is that it is transparent and allows 98% of visible light through it. John Rogers, a materials scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said, “If you want to interface electronics with biology, you ideally want soft, stretchable electronics with the same kinds of properties seen in biology”.

The development could be considered as a significant advancement in the growing section of stretchable electronics for interactions in the body. After 100 cycles of stretching and relaxation, the researchers said that the performance of the touchpad declined slightly.