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Sony files ‘SmartWig’ patent

Graeme Parton

Wearable technology could soon be taken a step further after Japanese tech giant Sony announced that it has filed an application to patent the technology for a  product that it calls “SmartWig”.

According to Sony, the new product is designed to be worn on top of the user’s natural hair and will have the ability to handle data and wirelessly communicate with a range of external devices.

In the application, the company claims that SmartWig will help users with navigation, while also collecting bodily data, like blood pressure.

Wearable technology is seen as a major growth area in the tech world, with Samsung recently releasing an Android-powered watch and Google preparing to launch its much-hyped ‘Glass’ product.

Speaking to the BBC, Frost & Sullivan analyst Andrew Milroy explained that he expects wearable tech to be one of the industry’s most significant growth areas in the coming years.

He also suggested that Sony’s latest announcement points to the fact that it wants to “regain some of the sheen it has lost in recent years”.

Sony has said that there is potential for the wigs to be made from a range of materials, including feathers, wool, horse hair, buffalo hair or even human hair. The sensors and communication interface would be hidden when in use.

Sony is expecting the device to be popular, saying that it combines technical intelligence with fashion while being particularly comfortable for users. In the patent, it suggested a number of potential uses for the device; one example being that it could help blind people to navigate cities.

While Sony’s latest announcement would likely go unquestioned on the first day of April, the firm appears to be completely serious. It is the perfect example of how the gadgets and ‘smart’ devices we use are slowly becoming extensions of the human body.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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