Blinklifier is a wearable computer that amplifies human blinking and minimizes the use of intrusive devices on the face such as heavy glasses and electromyography. It follows the natural eye muscles' contractions, extending that motion into a visible light array that changes pattern depending on the blinking gesture. Fake eyelashes were metalized to capture the blinking motion and a conductive material was used as eyeliner to connect the eyelashes with the wearable device. Blinklifier uses LEDs to create the blinking patterns in the headpiece and is prototyped using an Arduino microcontroller.
- Tricia Flanagan (artist),
- EQA (chemical lab for metalizing eyelashes),
- Dicky Ma (photo),
- Gutekunst/Frey (video).
Swarovski, best known for their blingy crystals, has a history of innovative collaborations with product and fashion designers. Nearly 8 years ago, a collaboration with Swarovski and Hussein Chalayanresulted in the first wearable tech garments, decorated with crystals and lasers, to be shone on the runway.
No stranger to fashion tech, Swarovski’s latest fashion tech collaboration is with Misfit. The offerings radically reconsider the materials that tech products can be constructed from. To note, the Misfit Shine set itself apart from other activity trackers by creating an elegant activity tracker, minimal in design, entirely constructed from metal not plastic. Now the Shine is available with a crystal surface that allows the LED lights (indicating a user’s progress) to glimmer through the faceted glass interface.
A purple solar-powered version is also available for pre-order which Misfit claims will never need external charging.
Let's pause here for a second to focus on the significance of this particular feature.
If the solar-powered Shine works as promised, one of the greatest usability hurdles that affects a user’s persistent use will be entirely eliminated, moving us one step closer from perceiving these products from being gadgets to authentic lifestyle products. And for that alone Misfit deserves to be lauded.
Whether bling is your thing or not, the Swarovski Shine is simply another voice to add to Misfit’s accessory collection.
Personally, I prefer studs to shine, leather to lace, but I can appreciate a brave fashion risk when I see one.
The collection, including several new accessories for the all-metal Shine, is available for pre-order here.
L'Oreal has announced it's partnering with bioprinting startup Organovo to figure out how to 3D print living, breathing derma that can be used to test products for toxicity and efficacy.
PARIS, France — L’Oreal needs human skin. Lots of it. That’s why the French cosmetics giant earlier this month announced that it's partnering with bioprinting startup Organovo to figure out how to 3D print living, breathing derma that can be used to test products for toxicity and efficacy.
"We're the first beauty company Organovo has worked with," says Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oreal’s tech incubator.
This isn't L’Oreal’s first foray into skin production. Looking to avoid animal testing, the company started farming derma back in the 1980s. In Lyon, France, it runs lab facilities the size of three Olympic swimming pools, dedicated entirely to growing and analyzing human tissues. About 60 scientists work on site, growing more than 100,000 skin samples annually. That's roughly five square meters of skin per year—or 54 square feet, about the equivalent of one cowhide. Each sample is 0.5 square centimeter in size. The fattest are 1 millimeter thick.
Using the current method, skin samples are grown from tissues donated by plastic surgery patients in France are then cut into thin slices and broken down into cells. Those cells are placed in trays, fed a special, proprietary diet, and exposed to biological signals that mimic those of actual skin. "We create an environment that's as close as possible to being inside someone's body," says Balooch. It takes about a week for the samples to form, he adds, "because the skin has different layers and you have to grow them in succession."
L’Oreal uses roughly half the skin it produces and sells the rest to pharmaceutical companies and rivals in the cosmetics industry. The company wouldn’t provide current prices but in 2011 told Bloomberg that samples cost €62 ($70.62) a pop. Nine skin varieties are available, covering a range of ages and ethnicities.
With San Diego-based Organovo's help, L'Oreal aims to speed up and automate skin production within the next five years. Research for the project will take place in Organovo's labs and L'Oreal's new California research center. L'Oreal will provide skin expertise and all the initial funding, while Organovo, which is already working with such companies as Merck to print liver and kidney tissues, will provide the technology.
hich is more of a tech company than many people realize, spends about 3.7 percent of its revenue—more than $1 billion annually — on research and development. That's about twice the industry standard, says Bloomberg analyst Deborah Aitken. An army of about 3,800 L'Oreal scientists in about 50 countries work on creating beauty breakthroughs. At their disposal are specially designed machines that do things such as wash hair over and over again or provide 3D images of cells showing different materials like collagen and keratins. Last year, the company even launched an app called Makeup Genius that lets you see yourself in real time, wearing products that aren’t actually on your face.
L'Oreal will have exclusive rights to the 3D printed skin developed with Organovo for uses related to non-prescription skin care products. Organovo will retain rights to the tissue models for efficacy testing of prescription drugs, toxicity tests, and the development and testing of therapeutic or surgically transplanted tissues.
By Caroline Winter; editor: Alex Dickinson.