Sony wigs out with new device

The technology manufacturer has just patented a 'SmartWig'. Wearable tech just got even sillier...

by Emma Haslett

Sony clearly has ambitions to be at the cutting edge of technology – only this time it’s using a pair of hairdressers’ scissors to get there. The Japanese electronics maker has filed a patent for a ‘SmartWig’. Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like: an ‘intelligent’ wig that communicates wirelessly with other devices.

The wig, which apparently could be used by blind people to help them navigate or help to collect data on body temperature, pulse and blood pressure, is the company’s latest attempt at ‘wearable tech’. Even though it was one of the first big manufacturers to get into that sphere with its own smart watch (which now has a rival in the form of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear), it’s apparently gone one step further. In fact, you could say this is its new mane focus.

Arguably, the idea of a wig is a lot more subtle – and slightly less silly-looking – than the Glass, Google’s much-vaunted (though still-yet-to-be-launched) ‘wearable’ device. Although Sony said it could be made from ‘horse hair, human hair, wool, feathers, yak hair, buffalo hair or synthetic material’. So it could actually end up being a lot more silly-looking.

The company, though, insists it could be ‘very popular… a technically intelligent item and fashion item at the same time’. Until some joker decides to put the technology into a Ronald McDonald-style curly red number, that is…

The best use listed by Sony, though, has to be as an aid during presentations. The SmartWig can be used to ‘move to the next presentation slide or back to the preceding presentation slide simply by raising his/her eyebrows’. Depending on whether that’s one eyebrow or two, presentations could be about to get more flirtatious, or public speakers are about to acquire a permanent look of surprise. Either way, it’ll make Powerpoint presentations a lot less dull…

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