In Brief

Japanese researcher develops a Google Glass for your ears.

Engineer Kazuhiro Taniguchi of Hiroshima City University has built a new kind of wearable computing device that offers similar controls to Google Glass, but is discretely tucked away behind the ear. The Ear Switch prototype is powered by Bluetooth, and picks up commands by monitoring tiny movements in the ear and subtle facial movements, like blinks or tongue clicks.

The Ear Switch is embedded with a compass, barometer, a speaker and microphone, gyro-sensors and GPS functions, making it a sensible tool to track the wearer’s biometrics and offer real-time information transmissions. Apps could be created for the device that would further increase its applicability, which can range from fetching traffic reports to getting directions. Taniguchi envisions the device to serve as “a third hand” for everyone, benefiting rock-climbers to people with disabilities.

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