MIT Researchers Develop a Thumbnail Wearable
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are into developing a miniature wireless track pad, wherein the wearable will be worn on a user’s thumbnail. This new technology aims at letting users control the wearable device even if their hands are full. Some activities could be answering a phone call when cooking.
Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, lead author and a graduate student at the institute said that the device was very unobtrusive. When she put it on, it became a part of her body and she had the power to taking it off. It could still give her the power of controlling it, while it allowed very close connection to a user’s body.
This new device could allow subtle communication in many instances that would need it, such as when sending a quick text to a kid when a user is in a meeting. According to her, the device was inspired by stickers typically worn and applied by women on their nails.
Part of the story, the researchers are envisioning to have a commercial copy of this device, but that should have a membrane on its surface, allowing users to coordinate surface pattern with clothes.
And even if a user was holding something in his/her hands, it could still be easily accessed by other fingers.
For the initial prototype, they built the sensors through printing copper electrodes on flexible polyester sheets.