Australian-born digital producer, curator, and media artist Thea Baumann has taken nail art to a whole new level with her Metaverse Nails project which transforms the humble fingernail into an interactive augmented-reality artwork – the ultimate in fingernail bling.
Developed by her company Metaverse Makeovers Pty. Ltd., Metaverse Nails is a transmedia experience and appcessory product consisting of augmented reality-enhanced leopard print nail wraps that work in combination with a specially designed 3D app for iOS devices. When an iPhone (with Metaverse Nails app) is pointed at the leopard print-wrapped nails, a myriad of holographic 3d animations are triggered: diamonds, pearls, virtual idols.
“We have been developing Metaverse Nails in collaboration with Asian nail art communities, Baumann explains. “Our use of AR (augmented reality) and mobile technologies is an enhancement of rich nail art culture, social mobile computing, and is a re-envisioning of the future of cosmetics, the art of maquillage, and highlights the complex surfaces of the beauty, luxury, and technology industries,” Baumann continues.
The Metaverse Nails concept is just one part of Baumann’s multi-faceted Metaverse Makeovers project which fuses intimate Augmented Reality (AR) enhanced beauty treatments, apps for iDevices, streamed and networked installations, 3D photoshoots, and exclusive AR cosmetics range featuring a prismatic palette of special FX holograms.
Most recently, Baumann took her Metaverse Makeovers live performance artwork to Shanghai. Created in collaboration with Chinese nail bar technicians of Shanghai's underworld, Baumann used Augmented Reality performances, manicures, and holographic visuals to present a trans-global re-envisioning of the future of make-up, highlighting the complex surfaces of China’s beauty, luxury, and technology industries.
Metaverse Makeovers is a technology start-up company with a focusing on designing AR enhanced appcessories for the female mobile market. Based transnationally in Melbourne, Shanghai, and Tokyo, Metaverse Makeovers is lead by Directors Thea Baumann (Transmedia), Ben Ferns (Technical), Andreas Hafner (Sales Strategy – China), and a network of collaborators and performers.
See a video of the augmented reality Metaverse Nails project below