MIT researchers come with thumbnail touchpad




Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have shown a device that transforms a thumbnail to a touchpad. By operated instance attached to the nail Nailo can a smartphone.

Lead Authors of the study are two masters of the Media Laboratory at MIT. With their supervisors present them next week a paper on the device at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Seoul.

According to the researchers, the surface of a thumb nail ideal for an input device. Because there are no nerve endings sit on, does not result in a device at that location to problems. In addition, other fingers can always easily. The researchers believe that their invention is therefore suitable as a supplement to other input methods, or as a way to control a device discreetly.

One of the students behind the research, Cindy Liu Hsin Kao says that the device is inspired by colorful stickers that Asian women on their nails paste decoration. The researchers want a possible commercial product is equipped with a removable top layer, allowing users to customize the device to their outfit.

MIT NailoMIT NailoMIT NailoMIT Nailo
The Nailo exists in its present form of four layers. First comes the cover layer with decorations. Underneath is the capacitive sensor: a flexible polyester plate with copper electrodes thereon. The third layer of the prototype is a semicircular printed circuit board on one side, containing a microcontroller, a chip for the sensor and a bluetooth chip. According to the researchers was the most difficult aspect of the design the antenna for the wireless connection; they should not be disturbed by the chips. At the bottom is the battery.

In the future, the device may be reduced still further. So can be saved on the circuit board space by integrating all functions in one chip. The researchers are already in talks with Chinese battery manufacturers. A battery that could make the size of a thumb nail with a thickness of half a millimeter.

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