Japanese Researchers Unveil New Wearable Computer For Your Ear
With the arrival of the Samsung Gear, and the highly anticipated Google Glass on the horizon, wearable technology is quickly being hyped-up to be the next chapter in everyday, essential, consumer gadgets. So, we have wearable concepts for the wrist and eyes, but how about the ear?
Enter “The Earclip-type Wearable PC,” an ambitious project from Japanese engineer, Kazuhiro Taniguchi (of Hiroshima City University), that will grant users complete control of a miniature device with ear, eye, and mouth movements. A wiggle of the tongue, a raised eyebrow, a twitch of the nose, and even clenching your teeth can be used as ways to navigate through software programs in this tiny computer. The advantage of not having to use your hands, or your voice, allows not only for a more subtle approach to this emerging technology, but also gives the user a “third hand."
In a recent interview, Taniguchi throws around a few ideas about the advantages and possibilities of his Earclip.
“Supposing I climb a mountain, look at the sky at night and see a bright star up there, it could tell me what it is,” Taniguchi said. “As it knows what altitude I’m at, which direction I’m looking and what angle, it could tell me, ‘The bright star you are seeing now is Sirius.”
Paired with a smartphone, the Earclip-type Wearable PC has a large number of possibilities. It could be your own EKG health system; monitoring your heart rate, pulse, steps you take, even how often you sneeze.
According to the Daily Mail, The Earclip-type Wearable PC contains a built in GPS, a gyro-sensor, and a tiny microphone. Future models are said to be able to track the wearer’s health and even send alerts if something goes wrong. Think about that for a minute -- imagine having a stroke and the device picking it up on its sensors, notifying 911, and saving your life. A purely theoretical situation, but nevertheless, a glimpse at the device’s potential.
The clip is said to weigh in only at 17g and is beautifully sleek, as it is modeled after the Japanese “ikebana” flower arraignments.
“We have made this with the basic idea that people will wear it in the same way they wear earrings,” said Taniguchi.
The developers aim to have the device out by Christmas 2015, and hopefully by then it will have a more flattering name than ”The Earclip-type Wearable PC.” Either way, this powerful new accessory will broaden the landscape that has been paved by the emerging trend of wearable technology.