Wearable Technology: Sony’s “SmartWig”

The "SmartWig" by Sony is the latest device in the wearable technology sector.

Sony recently filed a patent for “SmartWig,” a wearable computing device that, according to Sony, can communicate wirelessly with other external devices, help the blind navigate roads and collect healthcare information like blood pressure—in addition to being intelligent and fashionable.

“Wearable gadgets are definitely going to be one of the big areas of growth over the next two years,” Andrew Milroy, an analyst with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, told the BBC.

“And Sony – which is trying to regain some of the sheen it has lost in recent years – clearly understands that and wants to play a major role in the sector.”

The wigs can be made from human hair, animal hair or synthetic materials, and sensors are kept at least partially covered.

Vibration motor technology enables remote users to send commands through the network in order to help the wig user manually arrive at a destination.

The wigs can also be used for making presentations—raising an eyebrow to move slides backwards or forwards—and in the gaming industries. Improved features could include the use of ultrasound waves for object detection.

Sony believes that in comparison to other known wearable devices like Google glass, the wigs provide “increased user comfort and improved handling.”

The wigs are an interesting concept in light of growing bans on Google Glass in public places such as bars and restaurants where owners want to restrict customers from taking photos or videos of others without their knowledge.

Sony told the BBC that commercial production of the wigs has not yet been decided. Will Sony be a force to be reckoned with in the wearable technology sector?