toggle

AAPL Stock: 96.74 ( -0.45 )

Printed from http://www.macnn.com

Japanese Mimi Switch reads face for device control

updated 02:05 pm EDT, Mon March 9, 2009

Mimi Switch reads faces

A Japanese device called the Mimi Switch or Ear Switch has the ability to read a wearer's facial expression, including a blink of an eye, smile or raised eyebrow. It can accomplish this via its infrared sensors in the ear, the inside of which moves according to the facial expressions, and translate those movements into controls for attached personal electronics devices such as iPods. Invented and developed by Kazuhiro Taniguchi of the Engineering Science Graduate School at Osaka University, the device is connected to a computer which interprets the signals to control connected devices.

The Ear Switch can be programmed to recognize different expressions and even doubles as a relaxing aid. It can monitor a user's natural movements and play a song to cheer them if it concludes he is not smiling enough. Taniguchi hopes to apply this to make people's lives easier as well as monitor their health, citing one example where it could be built into hearing aids of the elderly and monitor how often they cough and how often they eat. A warning message could then be sent to relatives or caretakers. As well, the disabled can control devices such as washers and dryers, though they will have to load them themselves.

Taniguchi hopes to patent his prototype in Japan and other countries and develop a wireless version. He hopes to find corporate funding to help put the device on store shelves, which he expects will take between two or three years. [via PhysOrg]







by MacNN Staff

POST TOOLS:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    aha

    So now we know the answer. Spock used to raise his eyebrows to skip over a song on his iPod.

  1. cwsmith

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Thanks testudo

    Spock: That is not logical, Mr. Testudo.

    McCoy: But damn funny, Spock.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

MacNN Sponsor

Recent Reviews

D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Home automation fans have been getting their fair share of gadgets and accessories in the last few years. Starting with light bulbs, a ...

Razer Kraken Pro headset

Gaming headphones are a challenge to get right, for a long list of reasons that are unique to the consumer buying them. Some shoppers ...

Patriot Aero Wireless Mobile Drive

Regardless of how large a tablet you buy, you always want more space. There's always one more movie or another album you'd cram on, ...

toggle

Most Commented