Earclip-Type Wearable PC Developed By Engineers From Hiroshima City University

If you thought Google Glass and all the latest smart-watches and fitness trackers unveiled at the MWC 2014 was the only thing about wearable gadgets you will read this time of the year, well, engineers from Hiroshima City University are here to make sure that does not happen. They have developed a wearable PC to be worn on the ear and controlled by blinking an eye or taking the tongue out or wiggling the nose or by clenching teeth. Wait, what? Yeah. The new device, which is being called the "Earclip-type Wearable PC", weighs 17-gram (0.59-ounce) and works wirelessly over Bluetooth. The novel device features GPS, compass, a gyroscope, a barometer - and the obvious - battery, speaker and microphone.

Kazuhiro Taniguchi, an engineer from Hiroshima City University, shared the details about the device by saying that it's equipped with a microchip and data storage for loading software. The earclip's design is inspired from 'Ikebana' - the art of Japanese flower arrangement, with formal display that follows strict rules. Showcasing a black prototype of the model, it was made clear that people would be using it just like earrings. Once synced to the smartphone or tablet or an iPod, the user can navigate to any software program. The device works using the inbuilt infrared sensors to monitor all sorts of tiny movements inside the ear, which differ with how the wearer move eyes or mouth. Interesting, right?


The technology gets even more amazing when you think about its wide range of applications. Everyone who can't use hands while doing some important task, right from rock-climbers to astronauts, can use the device without a single hand movement. The developers, therefore, call it a 'third hand'. Quoting an example from Mr. Taniguchi - Imagine looking at the sky and seeing a bright star. The device can whisper in your ear, all the details about the star. If connected to the social media through Internet, users will be able to connect with another person with the device, looking at the same star, in another part of the world.


Add to that, the developers have made it possible to use the device as your personal care-taker for the elderly. So, using the device one could keep a check on the health and well-being (by reading data about pulse, body temperature etc.) of the old grandpa living in a remote city. Moreover, the earpiece can also double as a hearing-aid and with the in-built accelerometer, it could tell if the user falls and instruct the smartphone to pass information to relatives. Based on the GPS data, the device could also give a call for an ambulance. That neat.

The developers are currently testing the earclip device and expect it to be ready by end of 2015. If all goes well, the device will be commercially available from April 2016.

What are your thoughts on this new wearable gadget in town? Share with us in comments below.

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