Kazuhiro Taniguchi from the Hiroshima City University has developed a new wearable technology device but it is rather more inconspicuous than Google Glass, being worn on your ear rather than directly on your face.
The prototype device, which Taniguchi has named Ear Switch, has an interface that uses infrared waves that detect when you open or close your mouth, which then send command signals to the device. Once connected to a device like a smartphone it would be possible to navigate through apps by simply raising an eyebrow, clenching your teeth or wiggling your nose.
Ear Switch also has a speaker, microphone, compass, gyro-sensors, barometer and GPS functions built in to it and allows you to operate it completely hands free. At the moment Taniguchi has chosen not to release any technical details and therefore renders it simply a concept with no immediate plan to bring it to market.
However it is definitely an interesting concept and would make a good rival to the Glass device, mainly because it is less intrusive. Positioned on the ear it is less visible and that could give it the edge over Google Glass, appealing to those who want the advantages of a wearable device without letting the whole world know that they are wearing it.
Taniguchi feels that the Ear Switch’s sensors have a potential use for tracking the wearers health, much like other wearable devices already available. Reports suggest that he is looking to work with a big name firm in order to develop and release a commercial version of the Ear Switch next year.
[Image via Japan Times]