Wearable computer really was made in Japan
Hiroshima City University staff member Kazuhiro Taniguchi has just invented a wearable computer prototype reminiscent of the ear-worn personal computer worn by Joaquin Phoenix’s character in the recent motion picture Her. The compact PC’s interface utilizes infrared waves in order to recognize when the computer-wearer opens or closes his/her mouth. When these movements occur, corresponding command signals are sent to the miniature mechanism.
Taniguchi added that his Ear Switch’s sensors might also be used as a device to monitor the health of the user. He has not yet revealed a majority of the object’s technical specs and he has yet to explore the commercial aspects of the device. Early critics are quick to point out that much of the content on the internet is visual and that’s an area where Taniguchi’s Ear Switch “falls short”.
They also note that things such as Google Glass have yet to gain acceptance. On the other hand, those who favor the idea of being able to unobtrusively use a computer praise moving the wearable computer for the eyes to the ear. They see this as a much more marketable product than Google Glass.
Thus far, Taniguchi has demonstrated his device at a business fair in Hiroshima, Japan. The taped demo is currently available for viewing online. On his staff page, he reveals how his Ear Switch can be utilized to assist a user through various daily activities all while it subtly sits behind his/her ear.
A report in the Nikkei states that Taniguchi is hoping to partner up with a big corporation in order to manufacture and market “a commercial version” of his wearable computer sometime next year. He also notes that new apps could be designed to allow the wearable computer to download directions and traffic information simply by biting down or turning one’s head.
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)