News Item

Is ‘SmartWig’ the next wearable navaid?

Sony is seeking a US patent for a hairpiece that could help navigate, monitor health and change slides . .

The wig could communicate wirelessly with another devices and would include tactile feedback. It could include a camera, laser pointer or GPS sensor.

The development of wearable technology - such as glasses, watches and earpieces - is expanding as consumers seek new ways to integrate computers into everyday life. A recent market report estimates that the market will jump around 14-fold over the next 5 years, to $19 (£11.6, €14) billion.

The patent application explains that 'It is an object to provide an improved wearable computing device - at least one sensor, the processing unit and the communication interface are arranged in the wig - and at least partly covered by the wig in order to be visually hidden during use.'

The wig could be made from horse, human, yak or buffalo hair, wool, feathers or any kind of synthetic material.

There are 3 prototypes of the SmartWig:
- the Navigation Wig uses GPS and vibration to direct the user
- the Presentation Wig has a laser pointer and can change PowerPoint slides by pulling left and right on the device
- the Sensing Wig gathers information from inside the body such as temperature and blood pressure

A Sony spokeman concluded 'It has not been decided whether to commercialise the technology or not - the research process is continuing.'

Details from Japan Times below . .

  • 28 November 2013
  • NOF

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