"Imagine that you don't need a card for opening your door, or paying your bus ticket," says Katia Vega. "Imagine that you don't need to carry any ticket for going to a movie. Go and shop at the supermarket or rent a book at the library without a wallet or ID card, just point and pay for it -- everything at your fingertips: your nails."
Vega is a PhD student in Computer Science at Pontifical Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro and founder of Beauty Technology, where projects include makeup, interactive "Hairware" tresses and nails embedded with RFID. Check out this video of them in action used to DJ - underwater; the nails on the right hand control the tracks while the nails on the left mix and add effects.
"Beauty Technology transforms our body into an interactive platform by hiding technology in beauty products to create muscle-based interfaces that don't give the wearer a cyborg look," explains Vega. "Wearable computing has changed the way individuals interact with computers, intertwining natural capabilities of the human body with processing apparatus."
Like controlling and levitating a drone with...your faux eyelashes. The setup: she wore a wig that concealed a circuit which was completed when she blinked long enough for her metallic lashes to connect with her conductive eyeliner. The resulting signal was sent from the hidden-hair circuit to a Zigbee radio stashed in her purse. Certain blinks even got animated images to pop up, reading POW. Bam. Zap.
After training as a systems and informatics engineer at the National University of San Marcos, Peru, Vega spent a year at the Wearables Lab at Hong Kong Baptist University. "I believe that living in Hong Kong and looking to the girls wearing their big eyelashes and very decorated nails in the street made me think about giving them more power," she continues. "We know that wearable technology is not the future; it is the present. We can see that for all the investments and new products on the market. But all these products are on clothes and accessories. So the question is: how can your body be an interactive platform?"
For the podcast I recorded about this - scroll down below the pix.
"Mainstream DIY transhumanism will be complete when the five-years-from-now equivalent of Lady Gaga has base-reacting LEDs that map out musical tones." - biohacker Tim Cannon of Grindhouse Wetwear
the giant electronic chip - the size of a deck of cards - that biohacker Tim Cannon inserted into his arm
Music: Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com
- Lesley Scott