Sony files patent for 'SmartWig' sensor hairpiece

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.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

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.

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