Watch: A Tiny Helicopter Controlled With A Wink

Special metallic makeup could put the face back into "user interface."

With a wink, the drone flies out of the woman’s hand. This isn’t the opening sequence of a James Bond movie (though it totally should be). Instead, it’s the metallic makeup of computer scientist Katia Vega. When the eye closes, the metallic makeup completes a circuit, which sends a signal down conductive eyeliner to a radio transmitter, which tells the drone (really, a toy remote control helicopter) to take off. The future!

The drone-contolling eyeliner, dubbed the “Blinkifier,” is party of Vega’s Beauty Technology project. In addition to controlling a drone, Vega configured the Blinkifier to change the lights on an LED headress and to switch images projected behind the presenter. Her other works in Beauty Technology include artificial nails with RFID tags that can play a virtual piano and, combined with a special set up, can turn a pool of water into a DJ’s turntables.

The designs, while all functional, may not be practical—but they certainly look like the future.

New Scientist

Kelsey D. Atherton

Kelsey D. Athertonis a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.