In a year that has seen much ado about wearable devices, a new gadget could have tech enthusiasts champing at the bit, literally. Kazuhiro Taniguchi, a lecturer at Hiroshima City University, says he has developed an ear-mounted device the wearer can control simply by biting down. It uses infrared waves to sense jaw muscle movement and also contains GPS, a compass, microphone and speaker.
A new kind of wearable computer has been created that immediately evokes images of the ear-mounted PC worn by Joaquin Phoenix in the recent film Her. Created by Hiroshima City University staffer Kazuhiro Taniguchi, the prototype device’s interface uses infrared waves to detect when the wearer opens and closes his mouth. Those movements send corresponding command signals back to the device. Conceivably, apps could be created for the device that would let you do things like fetch traffic information or get directions by turning your head or biting down. Taniguchi, who calls the Bluetooth device an Ear Switch, also embedded the formfitting earpiece with a compass, barometer, a speaker and microphone, gyro-sensors, a battery and GPS functions.