Makeup With Embedded Electronics Helps The Disabled Control Their Devices

Advancements in wearable technology enable people with disabilities to carry on with normal daily functions.

Winkymote is an infrared remote control hidden in makeup that helps quadriplegics change TV channels with blinks. This development is part of Katia Vega’s ongoing Beauty Technology project, which has grown to include metallised false eyelashes that can activate various electronic devices and other cosmetics tech products.


In collaboration with Clio, an Arduino based microcontroller from Seeed Studio, Vega developed Winkymote for Felipe, an ex-jujitsu player who now lives with quadriplegic disability. While he depends on the assistance of nurses for more complicated tasks, Felipe can use Winkymote to activate his body as an input device, turning the TV on and off with left and right blinks.

The makeup, called “Empowder,” used to conceal the technology closely resembles human skin, and is a good demonstration of how technology can make life easier for people with disabilities.