We introduce SkinKit, the first modular on-skin interface prototyping toolkit which includes tangible plug-and-play Flexible PCB modules and custom on-skin substrate design for slim, flexible, and quick circuitry routing on the skin, drastically lowering barriers to on-skin interface prototyping.
Pin-Sung Ku, Md. Tahmidul Islam Molla, Kunpeng Huang*, Priya Kattappurath*, Krithik Ranjan, Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao (*equal contribution)
Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT) Dec 2021
The emergence of on-skin interfaces has created an opportunity for seamless, always-available on-body interactions. However, developing a new fabrication process for on-skin interfaces can be time-consuming, challenging to incorporate new features, and not available for quick form-factor preview through prototyping. We introduce SkinKit, the first construction toolkit for on-skin interfaces, which enables fast, low-fidelity prototyping with a slim form factor directly applicable to the skin. SkinKit comprises modules consisting of skin-conformable base substrates and reusable Flexible Printed Circuits Board (FPCB) blocks. They are easy to attach and remove under tangible plug-and-play construction but still offer robust conductive connections in a slim form. Further, SkinKit aims to lower the barrier to entry in building on-skin interfaces without demanding technical expertise. It leverages a variety of preprogrammed modules connected in unique sequences to achieve various function customizations. We describe our iterative design and development process of SkinKit, comparing materials, connection mechanisms, and modules reflecting on its capability. We report results from single- and multi-session workshops with 34 maker participants spanning STEM and design backgrounds. Our findings reveal how diverse maker populations engage in on-skin interface design, what types of applications they choose to build, and what challenges they faced.
Pin-Sung Ku, Md. Tahmidul Islam Molla, Kunpeng Huang*, Priya Kattappurath*, Krithik Ranjan, and Hsin-Liu (Cindy) Kao. 2021. SkinKit: Construction Kit for On-Skin Interface Prototyping. Proc. ACM Interact. Mob. Wearable Ubiquitous Technol. 5, 4, Article 165 (December 2021), 23 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3494989