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. Blinklifier, demonstrated at the Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces Conference in the UK, lets the wearer power devices on and off just by blinking.
It consists of a set of metallized 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 to launch a drone just by winking.
Another project, called Beauty Tech Nails, consists of false fingernails with embedded RFID tags or small magnets or coated with conductive polish. Twinkle Nails use RFID 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 Web site: "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.