CNET Crave

CNET Australia Podcast

Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Electronic make-up lets you control gadgets with a wink

About The Author

CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Beauty Technology)

Computer scientist Katia Vega has created a range of cosmetics and accessories that can be used to control electronic devices.

If you can wear electronics on your wrists, in your clothing and even as stick-on tattoos, why not paint them on your skin?

Computer scientist Katia Vega from the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has created what she is calling Beauty Technology: a range of wearable cosmetics that conduct electricity and control devices. Blinkifier, demonstrated at the Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces Conference in the UK, lets the wearer power devices on and off just by blinking.

(Credit: Beauty Technology)

It consists of a set of metallised false eyelashes and conductive eyeliner. Together, they track the contraction of the eye muscles and the movement of the eyelid when the wearer blinks. When the eyelashes touch each other, they close the circuit, sending the activation or deactivation signal.

Vega has used the system to activate a wearable LED headdress, using blinking motions to change the light display pattern, and launch a drone just by winking.

"We use voluntary movements to amplify intentions — using our body as a new input device," Vega said. "Blinking is sensed via the conductive eyeshadow, and the information can be sent to a circuit inside a headband, perhaps activating something via an infrared beam."

(Credit: Beauty Technology)

Another project, called Beauty Tech Nails, consists of false fingernails with embedded RFID tags or small magnets or coated with conductive polish, such as Twinkle Nails, which using RFID, are used to play a virtual piano. Each nail's RFID tag is coded with a different note; rather than pressing a key, the wearer just makes the motion.

Vega explained on her website, "RFID glass capsule tags were embedded into false nails so an RFID reader could understand each tag and a different application could be created with the combination of the fingers' movement and timing next to the reader, like special gestures and musical instruments. Magnets were embedded into a nail to amplify the wearers' capabilities by giving the sense of reading magnetic fields but also give them access to different objects with magnetic switches in smart objects and smartphones."

Vega's products aren't on the market yet, although she is in negotiations for a commercial launch.


Add Your Comment


Be the first to comment on this story!

Post comment as

Sponsored Links

Recently Viewed Products