To be filed in the “uncomfortable future decisions we’ll have to make in our jobs” drawer comes this odd story from New Scientist magazine to help kick off the start of a week. It’s “Rubber Finger Probes Sense of Touch,” which concerns a team of scientists in the UK building a computerized finger that will rate the tactile sensation of any sort object in relation to how much or how little it will appeal to a human being. Why would you want to do this when you could, say, just ask, “Hey, Bob, what do you think this feels like?” Well, clearly so you can sell your device to companies who want to sell something.
The team plans to use these to design packaging materials. ‘Industry knows a lot about the importance of the visual design of packaging but there’s a lack of understanding about the feel appeal,’ says Barnes, who is also a manager at the Faraday Packaging Partnership in Leeds. ‘Imagine a carton of fruit juice that’s as soft as peach skin.’