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Wearable Tech

​Fingernails with embedded chip make for an easier commute

A UK fashion student invents a handy way to board a bus or train -- false fingernails that make quite a stylish statement.

Could a prepaid commuter card be replaced with fashionable fingernails?

Lucie Davis/Instagram

British jewelry designer Lucie Davis created the kind of manicure that could make daily commutes not only easier, but a lot more fashionable.

Davis used an RFID chip from an Oyster card -- the kind of prepaid card commuters use to quickly pay for their rides on public transportation -- and embedded it in a set of blue and white acrylic nails. That way, the wearer can pay for journeys with a mere tap of a nail onto a card reader.

"You can still top them up with money too. Now you'll never have to worry about misplacing your card again," Davis, who just received a bachelor's degree in jewelry design from Central Saint Martins in London, told WAH London.

While these nails could make for an innovative solution for those travelers who often lose Oyster cards or simply want an easier way to pay for train or bus fares, the reality of prepaid cards in the form of fake fingernails may not be that feasible.

Technically, the nails violate Transport of London's regulations that say users can't tamper with their Oyster cards or pull out the RFID chips inside them. However, this rule might not matter if the fingernails used a contactless payment chip instead, especially as London has replaced train tickets with contactless credit cards.

Of course, fingernails may not be the best place to store prepaid fares considering how often false fingernails pop off or are broken due to day-to-day wear and tear.