Electronic Make-Up Lets You Activate Gadgets By Blinking

A cheeky wink can say an awful lot—but now it can do an awful lot, too. A new range of conducting cosmetics means that you could soon be activating electronics with the blink of an eye.


Developed by Katia Vega and shown off recently at the Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces conference at the University of St Andrews, UK, the make-up provides a way of generating quick, simple micro-interactions. Essentially, a wearable alternative to some of the features offered by the likes of Google Glass.

The range includes metallized false eyelashes and conducting eyeshadow, reports New Scientist, both of which use low voltage circuitry to detect when someone winks. Fortunately involuntary blinking is ignored. "Blinking is sensed via the conductive eyeshadow and the information can be sent to a circuit inside a headband, perhaps activating something via an infrared beam," explained Vega to New Scientist.

In her demonstrations, she's used the system to launch a miniature drone and activate LEDs adorning her headwear. It's not yet a commercial enterprise—Vega claims to be "in negotiations"—but it seems likely that this will become a real thing, and soon. In the meantime, she's already pursuing other wearable electronic ideas, including false fingernails with hidden RFID tags. Beats putting the things inside you, at least. [New Scientist]


I could do that easily with a blink of an eye !