Electronic makeup lets you control the lights with a wink
Now you can look electric and, well, actually be electric too. Researchers have developed electronic makeup that turns your face into a remote control.
Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM
James Bond better watch out; his Bond girls might soon have the edge on high-tech gadgetry. Researchers have developed metallic makeup that can allow wearers to control electronic devices with a wink or a smile, reports New Scientist.
The technology is made possible thanks to what developer Katia Vega calls 'conducting cosmetics.' So far her futuristic makeup case contains metallized false eyelashes and eyeshadow that can complete a low-voltage circuit with facial movements, which can then be used to remotely control just about any electronic device. She can change the channel with a wink, dim the lights with a squint, and even launch a drone with a wry smile.
Needless to say, Vega's conducting cosmetics could be the deadliest thing to happen to makeup since poison lipstick.
Vega, a computer scientist at the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, promises that her metallic makeup is chemically safe for use on the skin. It looks great on the skin too, especially if you're a fan of electronic music and find yourself regularly attending neon-lighted nightclubs. Models showcasing the makeup in action can be seen in following video:
In the video, models can be seen controlling the flight of a small drone and shifting the lights using controlled winks. Electronic false nails can also be seen operating keys on a laptop remotely-- a new design that Vega is currently developing with her colleague Hugo Fuks.
In order to prevent the make-up's wearer from making electronic devices go haywire with every wink, the circuit only responds to voluntary winks lasting longer than half a second.
The ultimate purpose of developing the electronic make-up, other than the cool factor, is to eventually integrate the technology with our smartphones and other wearable computers, such as Google Glass. For instance, imagine being able to take a picture with your smartphone by winking. The technology is yet another step toward blurring the line between our bodies and our electronic devices.
"We use voluntary movements to amplify intentions -- using our body as a new input device," explained Vega.
Though Vega is still in negotiations about implementing her technology commercially, she has already gotten the attention of Google.
"This is a clever use of materials and, more importantly, it highlights how today's beauty products could be re-purposed to create computational interfaces," said Thad Starner, Google's technical lead for Glass.
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