Sony files patent for 'SmartWig' sensor hairpiece

Sony files patent for 'SmartWig' sensor hairpiece

Summary: Potential uses of the headwear include in road navigation, checking blood pressure or flipping through of slides in a presentation. Besides wireless communication, it will also include tactile feedback.

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Sony has filed a patent for a "SmartWig", another take on the wearable devices market after its smartwatch this year.

"The usage of a wig has several advantages that, compared to known wearable computing devices, include significantly increased user comfort and an improved handling of the wearable computing device," said in its U.S. patent filing, reported by Kotaku. The hair-raising idea was filed in May but only made public this week.

smart wig
Sony's patent illustration for its SmartWig. (source: USPTO)

The hairpiece comes with hidden input sensors which process data, communicate wirelessly and also provide tactile feedback.

The wig could be made from "horse hair, human hair, wool, feathers, yak hair, buffalo hair or any kind of synthetic material," according to Sony. A spokesperson confirmed the application but pointed out research was ongoing and it had not decided whether to commercialize the technology, noted a Bloomberg report.

Three prototypes were described:

  1. Presentation Wig featuring a laser point that allows users to change PowerPoint slides by tugging left and right, perhaps on sideburns
  2. Navigation Wig makes use of a GPS and vibration component to direct the user
  3. Sensing Wig collects health data from the user's body such as temperature and blood pressure.

Sony introduced its SmartWatch 2 this year, which works as a second screen for its Xperia smartphone.

Topics: Patents, Emerging Tech, Japan

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Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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2 comments
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  • What would Shakespeare Say ?

    Toupee or not toupee that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    the slings and arrows of outrageous baldness ?
    Alan Smithie
  • How about a "wigged out" wig? ... Seriously.

    How about a wig that monitors brainwave activity to check for things like transient ischemic attacks, epileptic seizures, a narcoleptic sleep period (I don't know the clinical term) and other things that can be detected and monitored with an EEG?
    Rick_R