NailO - Wearable Device Turns User's Thumbnail Into Miniature Wireless Track Pad

Researchers at the MIT Media Laboratory are developing a new wearable device - a prototype called NailO - that turns the user's thumbnail into a miniature wireless track pad. The technology could let users control wireless devices when their hands are full, or could augment other interfaces - allowing someone texting on a cellphone to toggle between symbol sets without interrupting his or her typing. The researchers used capacitive sensing, the same kind of sensing the iPhone's touch screen relies on, to register touch. The team packed capacitive sensors, a battery, and three separate chips - a microcontroller, a Bluetooth radio chip, and a capacitive-sensing chip - into a space no larger than a thumbnail.