What Does Skinput Mean?

In IT terminology, the term “skinput” refers to a new input technology that essentially uses the human body as an input device.


Skinput is also known as bioacoustic sensing or bioacoustic transmission.

Techopedia Explains Skinput

New kinds of skinput interfaces involve technology that is able to locate and sense finger taps on the skin. In some cases, engineers use tools like projectors to present visual interfaces on the body. Users can then test these visual areas to produce results. Microsoft and other companies are pursuing research on these kinds of interfaces.

In general, skinput technologies allow for the use of the body’s natural properties to develop new kinds of interfaces. This is directly related to the development of wearable technology and other kinds of interfaces that are body-interactive or that use the physical human body as a component of a greater setup.

In a sense, skinput is a very modern take on the classical idea of input. From the very beginning of computer systems, from Charles Babbage’s analytical engine and the first ENIAC mainframe in the middle of the 20th century, input/output was an essential component of how computing systems operated. With skinput, interfaces are moving from traditional designs like plastic key pads or computer keyboards, directly to the human body. Skinput may also have applications to other kinds of technologies like biometrics for personal identification.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.