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Skin-based electronics are an emerging genre of interactive technologies. In this paper, we leverage the natural uses of lotions and propose them as mediators for driving novel, low-power, quasi-bistable, and bio-degradable electrochromic displays on the skin and other surfaces. We detail the design, fabrication, and evaluation of one such “Lotion Interface,” including how it can be customized using low-cost everyday materials and technologies to trigger various visual and temporal effects – some lasting up to fifteen minutes when unpowered. We characterize different fabrication techniques and lotions to demonstrate various visual effects on a variety of skin types and tones. We highlight the safety of our design for humans and the environment. Finally, we report findings from an exploratory user study and present a range of compelling applications for Lotion Interfaces that expand the on-skin and surface interaction landscapes to include the familiar and often habitual practice of applying lotion.

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