You may already consider your smartphone or e-reader an extension of your person, but a literal second skin? Don’t perish the thought just yet. Researchers at Nokia and the University of Cambridge are developing a flexible circuit board that yields to your epidermis like a…you guessed it. The electronic skin, which includes a touchpad, responds to touch and pressure even when it’s pulled like a piece of gum. In fact, the material can be stretched to up to 20 percent of its original length without losing a lick of performance.
Fully actualized, the stretchy skin could spell the end of bulky, immutable devices, as well as usher in a new generation of high-tech clothing and accessories. Gadget-heads of the future could be interacting with their electronics at a far more intimate level. “What is solid and known to us right now, could be flexible and entirely different in the future,” notes the official Nokia blog.