Fingernail-shaped stylus is manicure-friendly

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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.

Elektra Nails are false fingernails with a capacitive tip so that you can use them on your smartphone or tablet screen just like a stylus.

(Credit: Elektra Nails)

If you have fingernails that extend beyond your fingertip, and have ever used a resistive touchscreen — like the Nintendo 3DS, for example — you know that the index nail can provide a lot more accuracy than just tapping with your fingertip, and is a lot easier than taking out a stylus every time.

Elektra Nails has taken this principle and transferred it to the much more popular capacitive touchscreen employed in smartphones and tablets. The company has created a false fingernail — like the kind you can buy in pharmacies or have applied in manicure studios — out of capacitive material, so that you can use it on your screen.

Created by a company called Tech Tips, which launched a fingertip stylus a couple of years ago, the nails are neutral-coloured so that you can paint them to match your manicure, and the cuticle end can be filed to fit your finger (the company does not recommend that you file the tip, which can interfere with functionality). You can either glue it on which lasts longer, but means it will need to be removed with acetone, destroying the stylus function; or use an adhesive strip, which lasts only a few days, but means the nail can be reused.

The nails will be available in packs of six index fingernails, adhesive strips, glue, cuticle stick and prep pad for US$14.95 by the end of Q1 this year, the company claims, but we've heard a similar story before; they were presented at CES last year too, under the name Nano Nails, with an expected launch date of May 2013.

Whatever the hold up was, we hope the company has it sorted — it sounds like an ingenious little solution.



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