Distinguishing between a wink, a nod, and an iPod

A researcher at Osaka University has developed a remote-control device allowing users to control their iPod via combinations of eye winks.

Tech Culture

Do you sometimes feel that the convenience of having hundreds of songs and other digital files loaded onto your iPod is offset by the inconvenience of having to manually navigate through the file list? OK, well maybe not. But still, you should know that a researcher at Osaka University has come up with a prototype of a remote-control device that, when clipped to eyeglasses or headphones, allows the wearer to replay, skip, and pause songs through a combination of eye winks.

Wink-activated iPod controller

Infrared sensors and a microcomputer on the device--called the KomeKami Switch, or Temple Switch--are designed to detect differences in the movement of your skin when you wink. The switch then sends appropriate instructions to the iPod. The KomeKami Switch's principal developer, Kazuhiro Taniguchi, a researcher at the university's Graduate School of Engineering, notes that the device is capable of distinguishing between blinks and winks, so random eye movement won't suddenly send you a track ahead of that Rhianna tune you're obsessed with.

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