MIT researchers have developed a wireless touchpad small enough to fit on your fingernail. Dubbed NailO, the prototype is modeled after cosmetic nail stickers. It squeezes a capacitive sensor, microcontroller, Bluetooth radio, and battery into a footprint no larger than a quarter. The idea is to provide an alternative input mechanism for wearables and situations that don't map well to conventional control schemes.
Here's a preview of the NailO in action:
Although the NailO seems a little gimmicky, the design is backed by sound rationales. Thumbnails provide a firm surface that should aid consistent tracking, for example. They're easy to swipe with any finger, too—even when you're holding something in your hand.
The people behind the project are working with suppliers on a super-slim battery that's only 0.5 mm thick. That power source won't provide a lot of juice, necessitating an unlock mechanism that should also prevent inadvertent contact from triggering unwanted actions.
There's no indication of how close the NailO might be to becoming an actual product. The concept is promising, though, and I'm curious to see how others tackle the input challenges associated with wearable devices.
|Valve details plans for Steam storefront update||27|
|EVGA's liquid-cooled GTX 1070 Hybrid card goes up for pre-order||11|
|Google Play Store doors are now open for a few Chrome OS devices||7|
|Updated Roku range starts cheaper and gets HDR-ready||8|
|In Win's 509 full-tower case can swallow massive mobos||12|
|Friday Night Shortbread||28|
|Doom's latest update adds Deathmatch and private matches||16|
|Rumor: Google to showcase mesh networking router soon||11|
|SolidRun MicroSoM offers Braswell CPUs on a tiny package||19|