Mini Switch headset lets you control devices with facial expressions

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 10 2009 @ 00:21 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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