The First Earbuds That Can Be Controlled With A Smile
Do you smile often?If yes, these may be the perfect earbuds for you. Or the most awkward new gadget you ever had. Depending on how you take it.As you probably know, earbuds are the new trend in technology. They mimic the features of earphones, yet are more practical and go inside the ear, which also makes them convenient – and yes – easy to lose.We all know that a smile goes a long way. In this case, it can play your most favorite song. Jokes aside though, these earbuds can be definitely useful for people with disabilities or ones who prefer hands-free solutions with their gadgets.An engineer and computer interaction researcher Denys Matthies is behind the story of this set of prototype earbuds. According to him, they are the first ones of this kind – able to detect the wearer’s facial expressions and turn them into commands on the phone. So, it is the phone that is receiving the commands, transmitted through the earbuds.The technology involves a set of special electrodes that recognizes the shape of the user’s ear canal using an electrical field. This motion bends and flexes in a consistent fashion when people pull certain faces, allowing these earbuds to detect all the specific expressions and convert them to commands.So far, Matthies has been able to trigger movements with 90% accuracy, but that does not mean that he won’t reach the hundred soon. The prototype earbuds that he invented are able to respond to smiling, winking, making ‘shh’ sounds, opening the mouth and turning the head to the side. The official presentation of the prototype will take place at a human-computer interaction conference in Colorado this May.What do you think about these earbuds? Are they a step forward in technology – or just another way to look silly out there, shifting through songs and pausing them?