Image credit: EPFL

This could be the next great invention after the wheel – scientists from the EPFL research institute have created artificial skin that will be used in medical rehab and virtual reality. Of course this really isn’t the next great invention, but it’s still pretty cool.

Because we like tech, let’s talk about the virtual reality aspect of application here. Folks from the EPFL’s Reconfigurable Robotics Lab have engineered a silicone based film that attaches to your fingertips, connected via wires and emits electrodes, providing haptic feedback to the user.

So here’s why we think it’s cool – if you’ve watched the Striking Vipers episode of Black Mirror, you’d know where we’re heading with this. We’re not talking about virtual coitus per se – although it is possible – but rather we’re thinking along the lines of a more holistic VR experience where players can have more meaningful interactions with their peers; and yes, that just sounds a lot like virtual sex.

But of course this will most likely be used for educational purposes – the artificial skin lets users have a realistic, real-time sense of touch. So first thing I’m going to do, touch lava.

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