Fingernail Technology Enabling Embodied Interactions

Project Video

This research project was done with Christine Dierk and Prof. Eric Paulos during my time at UC Berkeley.

TransformatonNail is the 3rd version of the Alternail. Modern wearable devices are often designed to be one-size-fits-all. This pushes the design of these wearables towards a small screenmini computer, forcing the set of interactions to be similar to those on the big screen. This misses out on the vast array of natural interactions such as finger motions, nail interactions, twirling hair, and others. Rather than extending the body and its actions, wearables are often discrete devices that need dedicated attention from the user. Additionally, the one-size-fits-all approach to wearables ends up consuming a lot of power, which may be overkill to sense some specific type of interactions. Finally, modern wearables often look more like a computing device rather than accessories, such as rings, chains, false-fingernails, and jewelry. We are developing a fingernail-worn device combining wireless power capabilities with a unique and culturally acceptable form factor to enable new interactions and enhanced activity recognition for specific purposes. We contribute to a growing body of work designing new wearable devices that do not need to be charged, cared for, or maintained in the traditional sense. These wearables can be worn for long periods of time, powered intermittently, and closely approximate existing wearable form factors. More details can be found in the pdf below or at Christine Dierk’s PhD thesis

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  1. AlterNail: Ambient, Batteryless, Stateful, Dynamic Displays at Your Fingertips
    Christine Dierk, Tomás Vega Gálvez, and Eric Paulos
    In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2017