Sony's "SmartWig" will be compatible with other devices such as smart glasses and smartphones

Sony bets on 'SmartWig' as future of wearable tech

Sony has filed a patent application for a "SmartWig" that can process data and communicate wirelessly with other devices.

The device can be worn "in addition to natural hair" with sensors, processors and communication interface all hidden underneath the wig, according to the filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Sony said the SmartWig will be both intelligent and fashionable and will be compatible with other devices such as smart glasses and smartphones, but believes the wig is a more viable option for wearable technology.

"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," it said in its filing.

“A further advantage relies on the fact that the head area is more sensitive than other body parts, such as a foot, a hand or the waist of the user, where the wearable computing devices known from the prior art are usually arranged.

“The arrangement within a wig that is adapted to cover at least a part of the user's head enables the user to immediately react even if the computing device provides only small or weak feedbacks.”

Among potential uses listed by the firm in the filing was helping blind people to navigate roads via a small video camera or sensor on the wig that a remote user can view and use to send vibration commands through the network and navigate the wig user manually.

The firm also stated that motion or pressure sensors or strain gauges could be used to measure the motion of the user's head and specific gestures or facial expressions, enabling them to control applications in the wig or external devices by simply raising their eyebrows or smiling.

The firm also pointed to potential uses in healthcare, as a combination of sensors can help collect information such as temperature, pulse and blood pressure of the wearer.

"The system can detect these kinds of data naturally and transmit them to the server computer," it said.

A more outlandish approach suggested by Sony is to combine the wig with artificial muscle technology, which the firm says look like hair, which could be controlled by brain waves to dynamically change if the user becomes excited.

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