Abstract

Improvements on the wearable fingernail sensor are presented. By measuring changes in the color pattern of the human fingernail, the sensor is capable of detecting finger posture as well as touch forces which are applied to the fingertip. The fingernail is instrumented with a fitted sensor containing arrays of miniature LEDs and photodiodes that measure the blood content underneath the nail. Dynamic pattern recognition is used to differentiate between changes due to touching and bending. Since the sensor is mounted on the fingernail, touch forces can be measured without covering the fingerpad and obstructing the human’s natural haptic sense. Similarly, finger bending can be measured without wearing a glove that hampers the motion of the fingers. This paper briefly discusses design of the sensors, and then demonstrates sensor capabilities for both touch force and posture measurement.

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