A new development in wearable technology is being tested by researchers in Japan. The device works as an earclip–similar to the Bluetooth earpieces that are so popular with cellphones right now–except that it will have functions beyond the usual earphone and microphone. It will also house a GPS, a compass, a gyro-sensor, and a barometer. The device will have its own microchip and data storage capability, and it will be able to wirelessly connect to any of the user’s other electronic devices such as their tablet or smartphone.
What’s particularly remarkable about this earpiece is that it will be controlled by the user’s facial movements and tongue clicking. It will be revolutionary for people who need access to technology without the use of their hands. For example, rock climbers, motorcycle riders, and even drivers will be able to use this technology without having to remove their hands from something else more important. People with disabilities will also be able to make great use out of this device.
The developers are also testing an application that would make the earpiece work as a hearing aid and a health monitoring advice that would be able to track all kinds of things. It would measure heart rate, body temperature, time spent eating, and steps taken. It would even include an accelerometer that would alert loved ones if the user has fallen and prompt them to call emergency services.
The researchers who are testing the device are hoping that this will be the next generation of wearable technology. The believe it will be less intrusive than Google Glass or any of the smart watches, but it can still be stylish and double as a fashion accessory. It’s a great new development that is still in the prototype phase, but they are expecting to bring to market by 2016. We’ll be on the lookout for it!