Putting the «˜eye' in »˜iPods'

04 Mar 2008

On the mobile user-interface front, a Japanese inventor reckons that operating your mobile device should be as easy as blinking. Literally.

Kazuhiro Taniguchi, a researcher at state-run Osaka University's Graduate School of Engineering Science, has developed a system called a 'Kome Kami Switch,' or 'Temple Switch', which would basically allow you to use your eyes to control an iPod. Close both eyes for one second to play, repeat to stop, wink with the right eye to skip forward to the next track, wink the left eye to go back.

The system comprises a single-chip computer and a couple of infrared sensors that monitor temple movements. It's also small enough to be integrated into the side of a pair of sunglasses.

Essentially, the switch could be used to control a number of devices, from music players and cell phones to TV sets, air conditioners and wheelchairs. Targets demographics could include "caregivers, rock-climbers, motorbike drivers and astronauts, as well as people with disabilities", according to AFP.

And, if you're wondering, Taniguchi says it's smart enough to know the difference between a command and normal blinking.

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