Coined the SmartWig, the device will include GPS and a camera to deliver "image information from the surrounding of the wig."

With at least four actuators arranged in a cross-like pattern, users can receive vibrating feedback on specific parts of their head.

There will be a laser pointer and remote that can be used for presentations, controlled by the head's movement for presentations.

An ultrasound transducer could also transmit or receive ultrasound waves to detect surrounding objects, perhaps to warn users if there are obstacles behind or above their heads.

The Future of Wearables, According to Sony, Is a Smart Wig (With Lasers!)

File this under technology we never really asked for.

Sony's smartwatch may be less than two months old, but a patent application suggests the company's already thinking of branching out into other wearables--namely a smart wig that connects to smartphones and sends tactile feedback to wearers' heads.

Coined the SmartWig, the device can include GPS and a camera placed near the forehead. Users can receive vibrating feedback on specific parts of their head. Furthermore, a laser pointer and remote used for presentations can be controlled by the head's movement. An ultrasound transducer could also transmit or receive ultrasound waves to detect surrounding objects, warning users if there are obstacles behind or above their heads.

"The usage of a wig has several advantages that, compared to known wearable computing devices, include a significantly increased user comfort and an improved handling of the wearable computing device," reads the application filed Thursday to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. First of all, a wig makes it easier to hide the parts of the device, and our heads are more sensitive than many other body parts, so wearers can be alerted discreetly. The SmartWig could also serve as the ultimate body and environmental sensor transmit health information to health care professionals.

But will we ever become such slaves to technology that we'd wear a wig or toupee for reasons other than vanity? Sony hopes so. "Wig technology improves year after year, and many companies manufacture and release new products, so wigs can be expected to look almost the same as natural hair in the near future," according to the application. "Therefore, it is believed that a wig as proposed herein has huge potential as a wearable computing device."

[Image: USPTO]

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5 Comments

  • Ibrar

    The usage of a wig has several advantages that, compared to known wearable computing devices, include a significantly increased user comfort

  • Wayne Caswell

    Today's smartphone can execute machine instructions 10,000 times faster than the $3.5 million IBM mainframe computer I worked on 40 years ago. And so next is the wearable, and the man-machine interface is based on monitoring brainwaves on the scalp. But what's after that? Cell-sized computers that flow through the blood stream and communicate with neurons directly. (See http://www.mhealthtalk.com/201...

  • nyce

    For wearable tech to stick it can be argued that it will have to seamlessly blend into the way things are already currently done or make those that we currently do shed a few extra steps while adding reasonable extra value. A wig might not be able to achieve these two for the majority of people who do not conventionally wear one. More feasible platforms are abound and one alternative might be this one : http://volvox.vidmeup.com/view...