Japan firm offers glowing finger for those phoning home

Apr 17, 2014
Picture taken on April 16, 2014 shows toy company Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. "LumiDecoNail" stick-on fingernails with LED and tiny antenna at the company's photo exhibition in Tokyo

If you thought a finger that glows when you phone home was strictly the preserve of extra-terrestrials, think again: a Japanese firm has unveiled nails that light up when you make a call.

Unlike "E.T." in the 1982 Steven Spielberg film, modern-day Japanese fashionistas need only pick up their Android-powered smartphone to set their finger glowing.

Building on the immense popularity of manicure art—where intricate patterns and small gem-like stones are stuck on the nail—toy company Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. has developed a micro-thin LED sticker.

The "LumiDecoNail" uses a technology called Near Field Communication, in which small amounts of power are transferred very short distances, to communicate with a smartphone.

It also flashes whenever the wearer uses an electronic money card such as a train pass.

The product will go on sale in Japan next week, with a set of 16 nail stickers—one of which contains the LED—costing 1,200 yen ($12) and marketed mainly at young people, said company spokeswoman Misayo Aruga.

"I am now wearing it on the middle finger of my right hand. It blinks whenever I pass through train gates, which lifts my heart a bit," she said.

The company will consider marketing the cosmetic product overseas after seeing how consumers in Japan react.

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