'Creepy' human skin phone cover responds to touch

No one asked for this, but French researchers have developed an artificial skin phone cover that responds to the human touch.

The skin, which looks frighteningly realistic, can reportedly read your emotions - pressing hard might produce an angry emoji for example, while tapping it fast with all your fingers translates into laughter.

You can also do pinches and other gestures on the back of the phone, without getting your screen dirty.

But why does it have to look like human skin? 

"When we interact with others, we use skin as interfaces," creator Marc Teyssier of Telecom Paris wrote on his site. "However the objects of mediated communication - such as the smartphone - still has a cold interface that doesn't allow natural interaction and input.

"In this project, I wanted to make available the perfect human interface - that is the skin - for existing devices."

Teyssier used two layers of silicone to "mimic the skin deformability" and laced wires between them to do the detecting.

"Paint or makeup can be added to shade the artificial skin with flesh like tonal variation, thus increasing anthropomorphism."

Tech site Gizmodo said the result was something "Netflix are already planning to steal for their next Black Mirror episode", and would have "some [not safe for work]-as-f**k applications".

New Scientist - which called it "creepy" - reports Teyssier and his team have no intention of stopping. Their next step is to make it even more realistic by adding hair. 

Last year Teyssier horrified the world with a robotic finger that plugs into your phone and strokes you back.