A team of Japanese engineers are testing a tiny personal computer that fits into your ear, and is controlled by eye blinks or tongue clicks.
As if talking into an almost hidden Bluetooth earpiece didn't make you look crazy enough, this 17g wireless device gets its cues from wearers through tongue clicks and facial expressions, according to The Japan Times.
For now, researchers at Hiroshima City University are calling it an "Earclip-type Wearable PC" and are developing it as a wireless device with bluetooth and GSP, as well as a compass, gyrosensor, battery, barometer, speaker, and microphone.
"We have made this with the basic idea that people will wear it in the same way they wear earrings," project engineer Kazuhiro Taniguchi told the Times.
Following in the footsteps of wearable computing hardware like Google Glass, this miniature machine — planned to launch as a consumer device by the end of 2015 — includes a microchip and data storage.
Additionally, it can be connected to another gadget, like an iPod, a tablet, or a smartphone, to navigate apps using facial expressions.
Want to open iTunes? Just raise your right eyebrow. Or stick out your tongue to browse the Web, wiggle your nose to send a text message, and clench your teeth to take a photo.
The "Earclip-type Wearable PC" acts as a sort of "third hand," the developers said. It uses infrared sensors to recognize movements in the ear, while allowing the wearer to use both hands for activities like rock climbing or riding a motorcycle. One possible application would be for disabled people who may have lost the use of one or both of their hands.
"Supposing I climb a mountain, look at the sky at night, and see a bright star up there, it could tell me what it is," Taniguchi said, adding that the computer knows things like the altitude a user is at.
"This could connect you with a person who is looking at the same star at a remote place at the same time," he said, setting up the earpiece to be a sort of universal communication device.
Taniguchi also foresees the potential for the machine to serve as a tracker for elderly wearers, who would use it as a hearing aid which doubles as an all-seeing eye for their relatives to track their health, falls, and location.
Image: Flickr (Menage a Moi)