Technology: A phone cover with humanlike skin? It's ticklish... and creepy

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In case pinching your phone is something you've always wanted to do, a new high-tech phone case could make that very specific desire possible. Marc Teyssier, a Ph.D. student at Télécom ParisTech, created Skin-On, a frighteningly realistic artificial skin interface for interactive devices that responds to touch. The interface can be used on mobile devices, wearable devices and touch pads.

a close up of a hand: Skin-On is a prototype of an artificial skin interface for your smartphone or other device. Mark Teyssier© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Skin-On is a prototype of an artificial skin interface for your smartphone or other device. Mark Teyssier a close up of a hand© CNET

"Human skin is the best interface for interaction. I propose this new paradigm in which interactive devices have their own artificial skin, thus enabling new forms of input gestures for end-users," Teyssier said on his website.

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Even if it's a little creepy, the interface could streamline a few aspects of how you use your phone. You can interact with your mobile apps by tapping the skin, pinch the back of your phone to turn the volume up, use your finger as a joystick on a track pad and have better grip detection on mobile, the website said.

The skin is programmed to associate different gestures with different emotions, according to New Scientist -- abrupt hard pressure on the skin could mean anger, tapping could mean the user is seeking attention, and continuous contact and stroking is associated with providing comfort.

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Teyssier didn't immediately respond to request for comment, but his website depicts how he modeled Skin-On after the layers of human skin's three layers -- the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. Skin-On has four layers-- input gestures; visual and tactile; sensing; and kinesthetic. It remains a prototype for now.

a hand holding a video game remote control© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
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