Your Fingernails Will Become Computer Screens

January 29, 2013 | Julia Dawidowicz

With the help of certain organic light-emitting materials, engineers from the National Taiwan University in Taipei are developing fingernail polish that interacts with your smartphone or tablet. The polish will literally turn your nails into extensions of your smart device’s screen, displaying text and images that would otherwise be blocked by those inconveniently non-transparent fingers of yours. About time!

While the NailDisplay technology itself has yet to be created, this OLED screen attached to a large ring is currently being used as an early prototype. Engineers are already fantasizing about its many uses: a fingernail that magnifies the text beneath it, and displays control buttons, or even video, to accompany screenless audio devices like the iPod Shuffles. Throw an accelerometer into the mix, and the content displayed could also be controlled by the your finger gestures.

The fashion-forward engineers behind NailDisplay are scheduled to present their draft paper at a conference in Paris this April.