Think it's rude to make faces at people? Well, you better start rethinking that stereotype if you intend to use the Mimi Switch.
Forget fingers. Created by Osaka University researcher Kazuhiro Taniguchi, the Mimi Switch (aka Ear Switch) is a set of unassuming earphones containing infrared sensors. This lets the earpiece sense tiny movements inside the ear caused by facial expressions and transmit the readings to an attached micro-computer that then translates them into commands for a music device.
In fact, this gadget isn't limited to just audio pleasure as it can be programmed to control other electronic devices. Hence, sticking out your tongue, winking, or almost any facial expression can be mapped to any particular function.
The first devices are expected to appear in two to three years. But you better start reconsidering that insurance coverage if you plan to use the Mimi Switch in a seedy neighborhood. Unless, of course, you look as cute as the model in the picture.