Subtle Nail Art That Doubles as a Trackpad


With wearables becoming more and more prevalent, there has come to be a huge demand for personalization. Thanks to MITMedia Lab we might have yet another way to wear our technology—this time on our nails.  

NailO is a smart sticker that is worn on the user's thumbnail and works as a miniature track pad. Its small size makes it a lot more subtle than a large pair of glasses or a bulky watch, although its features are much simpler. 

Inspired by the nail art worn in her home country of Taiwan, MIT graduate Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao was inspired to create the smart sticker. "It’s a cosmetic product, popular in Asian countries," Kao told the MIT Press Office. "When I came here, I was looking for them, but I couldn’t find them, so I’d have my family mail them to me."

Squeezed inside the small wearable, you can find a touch sensor, battery, and Bluetooth radio. You can connect it to various Bluetooth compatible devices to use them remotely. For added flair, wearers can attach different decals, similar to picking out a new phone case. 

Although simple, there are plenty of uses for the device if you think creatively. When struggling with the messy task of cooking with an online recipe, you no longer need to worry about getting flour on your phone or tablet. With a quick swipe of your forefinger, you can scroll up or down. Kao also suggests that the user can use the sticker to subtly change the color of an accessory.

NailO is not a reality yet, but the team is hoping to work out some kinks. Right now, it can recognize five different gestures, but only with 92% accuracy. The product will be making an appearance at the CHI 2015 Conference in Seoul, South Korea. Hopefully the creator will continue working on the project and we can all have high-tech nails in the near future. 

[h/t: Co.Design]