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Help me use my nails as an iPod touch stylus.
January 17, 2013 5:45 AM   Subscribe

I've seen the Nano Nails product that is supposed to turn your fingernails into a capacative stylus. I like this idea, but they aren't out yet, and anyway I want to do my nails myself! What can I use that's lightweight to attach to my fingernail so that it conducts enough electricity to operate an iPod Touch?

I assume whatever it is has to be touching my skin, but that wouldn't be hard. I want something lighter-weight than Tech Tips. It also can't scratch the screen, though I'm willing to buy a screen protector in order to make this work.

Do I just have to wait for Nano Nails to come out or buy a Tech Tip or something? Or is there a way to do this?

I'm cool with wrapping something around my finger to do it, but I'm used to manipulating objects with my nails, so I'd prefer that whatever it is be on the tip of my fingernail, not over it like the Tech Tip. If I have to attach it to the top and then wrap a wire around when I want to use it, though, that's okay.
posted by NoraReed to Technology (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
One way I can think of would be to buy one of these, cut the fabric tip off, glue that to a acrylic nail and then glue the acrylic nail to your natural nail.
posted by royalsong at 6:13 AM on January 17, 2013


You could get some conductive thread, glue one end of a few strands to the underside of your fingernail such that the ends of the threads touch your fingertip, and then wrap them over your nail and then glue the other ends to your cuticle area with some liquid bandage or similar. Obviously, this would have to be replaced often, but wouldn't be too hard to incorporate into your existing manicure procedure. I'm not clear if both ends of the conductive thread would need to be touching skin. You could experiment.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:22 AM on January 17, 2013


According to this Instructible about making conductive paint/glue, you could probably mix carbon graphite powder into clear nail polish, to have conductive nail polish.

I bet this would work, but I'm not sure how long it would stay functional; I am not great at taking care of my manicure, so it doesn't take long before the thin front edge of my fingernail (the part that would contact a surface first) rubs to bare.

Alternately, consider guitar fingerpicks; you said you didn't like the Tech Tip over-the-finger solution, but these are a lot more delicate.
posted by aimedwander at 6:46 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you don't want to make your own, you could buy conductive paint (this stuff claims to be skin-safe) for your nails. The paint should touch your cuticles. I don't know how long it would last, but you could put lacquer over all but the tip where it touches the screen.

If you want to go for the cyberpunk look, you could cut nail-shaped pieces of copper tape and burnish them on...
posted by moonmilk at 7:36 AM on January 17, 2013


Whatever solution you come up with, consider using gel nailpolish to adhere it to your nail will make it last longer than the regular clear from the drug store.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:57 AM on January 17, 2013


Try using a piece of antistatic film.
posted by Ery at 10:52 AM on January 17, 2013


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