Electro-Cosmetics Let You Input With Your Face

Conductive makeup - or "Electro-Cosmetics" - allows Katia Vega to control a variety of electromechanical devices, using only her face as an input device.


(Electro-Cosmetics video)

Demonstrated on 10 October at the Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces conference at the University of St Andrews, UK, the aim of her "beauty technology" is to provide an alternative way to make quick micro-interactions like those possible with wearable computers like Google Glass.Smartphone users have to fiddle with their phones for half a minute to take a picture, whereas Glass only requires a quick tap on the side to accomplish the same task.. With Vega's "Blinklifier" it could be done with a wink. "We use voluntary movements to amplify intentions using our body as a new input device," she says.

Vega, a computer scientist at the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has developed metallised false eyelashes and conducting eyeshadow that complete a very low voltage circuit when she winks. Both are said to be chemically safe for use on the skin.

Fans of Neal Stephenson's 1995 novel The Diamond Age may recall the Jodie grid that used an implanted (or tattooed) grid of nanosites to help a machine match up a person's face with a dynamic graphic image.

Miranda was looking at a black wall speckled with twenty or thirty thousand individual pinpricks of white light. Taken together, they formed a sort of three-dimensional constellation of Miranda, moving as she moved. Each point of light marked one of the 'sites that had been poked into her skin by the tat machine during those sixteen hours. Not shown were the filaments that tied them all together into a network - a new bodily system overlaid and interlaced with the nervous, lymph and vascular systems...

"It's a Jodie," she said...

"Looks like we got ourselves an artiste here," Fred Epidermis said. "lemme try you in one of our most challenging roles."

Suddenly a blond, blue-eyed woman was standing in the mediatron, perfectly aping Miranda's posture, wearing big hair, a white sweater with a big letter F in the middle, and a preposterously short skirt...

...for the first time ever, she was watching another person move exactly as she moved, as the stage mapped Miranda's grid onto this imaginary body. Miranda pressed her lips together as if she'd just put on lipstick, and Spirit did the same. She winked and Spirit winked...

Via NewScientist; also, be sure to check out the 32 other amazing inventions from The Diamond Age. Thanks also to Vik of Diamond Age Solutions for suggesting this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/12/2013)

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Electro-Cosmetics Let You Input With Your Face
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