Smart earbuds let you control your phone with a wink – Now, an earbud concept could soon allow you to control your phone through a simple smile or a wink!
We’ve heard of sending a text via a smartwatch. But now, an earbud concept could soon allow you to control your phone through a simple smile or a wink!
A prototype earbud can now detect facial expressions and convert them into smartphone controls, like answering a phone call when you wink or launching an app when you open your mouth. EarFieldSensing (EarFS) is a novel input method for mobile and wearable computing using facial expressions. Facial muscle movements induce both electric field changes and physical deformations, which are detectable with electrodes placed inside the ear canal. The chosen ear-plug form factor is rather unobtrusive and allows for facial gesture recognition while utilizing the close proximity to the face.
“We’re not trying to replace current input methods, just complement them,” says Denys Matthies at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research in Rostock, Germany. “You’re not always able to take your phone out of your pocket or look down at the screen, but might still like to be able to pause your music or pick up a call,” he says. Currently, the system can recognise five different expressions with 90 percent accuracy: smiling, opening your mouth, mimicking a ‘Sh’ sound, winking an eye and turning your head to the right.