Nanowire‐Based Soft Wearable Human-Machine Interfaces for Future Virtual and Augmented Reality Applications

Kaixiuan Wang, Lim Wei Yap, Shu Gong, Ren Wang, Stephen Jia Wang, Wenlong Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


A virtual world has now become a reality as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology become commercially available. Similar to how humans interact with the physical world, AR and VR systems rely on human–machine interface (HMI) sensors to interact with the virtual world. Currently, this is achieved via state of‐the‐art wearable visual and auditory tools that are rigid, bulky, and burdensome, thereby causing discomfort during practical application. To this end, a skin sensory interface has the potential to serve as the next‐generation AR/VR technology because skin‐like wearable sensors have advantages in that they can be ultrathin, ultra‐soft, conformal, and imperceptible, which provides the ultimate comfort and immersive experience for users. In this progress report, nanowire‐based soft wearable HMI sensors including acoustic, strain, pressure sensors, and physiological sensors are reviewed that may be adopted as skin sensory inputs in future AR/VR systems. Further, nanowire‐based soft contact lenses, haptic force, and thermal and vibration actuators are covered as potential means of feedback for future AR/VR systems. Considering the possible effects of the virtual world on human health, skin‐like wearable artery pulses, glucose, and lactate sensors are also described, which may enable imperceptible health monitoring during future AR/VR practices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2008347
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • augmented reality
  • e-skin
  • human–machine interaction
  • nanowires
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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