iPod control via your face?

Expect to see this being done by commuters everywhere.
Expect to see this being done by commuters everywhere.

A quirky new hands-free device could enable you to start controlling your iPod (and other electronic devices) by moving your face.

The Mimi Switch (or Ear Switch) is basically a pair of headphones that contains infrared sensors that can read your expressions.

Discussing his invention, inventor Kazuhiro Taniguchi of Osaka University said: "An iPod can start or stop music when the wearer sticks his tongue out, like in the famous Einstein picture.

"If he opens his eyes wide, the machine skips to the next tune. A wink with the right eye makes it go back."

The gadget also has the potential to learn about its user and serve what it thinks are his or her best interests. "It monitors natural movements of the face in everyday life and accumulates data," explained Taniguchi to AFP. "If it judges that you aren't smiling enough, it may play a cheerful song."

The Mimi Switch seems conceptually similar to the headphones that respond to eye movement that we reported on last year. Taniguchi plans to keep working on his invention and seek the funding that will enable him to bring it to market.

(Via Engadget)

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.