One of the latest cool gadgets coming out of Japan is the Mini Switch, this tiny device looks like a normal set of headphones but features integrated infrared sensors that recognize tiny movements inside the ear that result from different facial expressions. The Mini Switch has some cool practical uses, like being able to switch songs on your MP3 player by smiling or raising an eyebrow.
The device was developed by Kazuhiro Taniguchi of Osaka University, he expects practical uses will be available within two to three years. More info at PhysOrg.
The gizmo -- called the "Mimi Switch" or "Ear Switch" -- is connected to a micro-computer that can control electronic devices, essentially making it a hands-free remote control for anything.
"You will be able to turn on room lights or swing your washing machine into action with a quick twitch of your mouth," said its inventor, Kazuhiro Taniguchi of Osaka University.
"An iPod can start or stop music when the wearer sticks his tongue out, like in the famous Einstein picture. If he opens his eyes wide, the machine skips to the next tune. A wink with the right eye makes it go back.