Japanese Company Testing Wearable Ear Computer

Controlled by facial expressions, the wearable ear PC can open apps and monitor users\' health. It\'s set for release in 2016.
Posted at 4:50 PM, Mar 03, 2014

Wearable technology seems to be the latest trend, but one Japanese company is taking it to a whole new level with an ear computer.

That's right, an ear computer. It's a small clip that fits in the ear and allows the wearer to access apps such as a GPS or compass just like a smartwatch. (Via YouTube / China Sotsu Station Channel)

But what makes this ear clip so special is how it's controlled. There are no buttons or touchscreens — that's because it's operated using facial expressions.

The clip, created by the company NS West, connects to an iPod or smartphone and allows the user to control and command it by using facial movements such as raising an eyebrow or clenching teeth. (Via Press TV)

The specific details about its functions have yet to be released, but the Daily Mail reports it's equipped with a gyro sensor, a heart-rate monitor and a thermometer to keep an eye — or ear — on your health, hands-free.

Its engineer, Kazuhiro Taniguchi, refers to the device as a "third hand" that he hopes will be useful for drivers, rock climbers, even hospital staff.

Tech Times reports Taniguchi designed the ear piece with traditional Japanese flower arrangements in mind. He created it "with the basic idea that people will wear it in the same way they wear earrings."

The clip can be worn like a Bluetooth headset and discreetly tucked behind the ear — unlike similar but more obvious wearable tech such as Google Glass. (Via YouTube / Task Yamaguchi)

The developers of the ear computer are currently testing the device and hope to release it to the market by 2016.