Spotted by my friend Leon Brown, now I know I’m not alone looking like a cybernetic mofo. Here’s a side by side comparison with a Japanese researcher on the left: We both use Logitech cameras, but to different ends.
According to The Register (Hardware), the left photo shows a prototype device aimed at replacing remote controls:
Kazuhiro Taniguchi, a researcher at the Osaka University Graduate School of Engineering Science, has invented a blink-operated switch called the Kome Kami Switch.
It’s mounted onto someone’s head and uses infrared sensors to monitor temple movements related to blinking, which in turn can be used to control a whole host of everyday gadgets, including TVs, air conditioners and lighting systems.
While it’s pretty neat, I still have no idea why Kazuhiro needs a pair of stereoscopic cameras, unless it’s to be folded inwards for eye tracking. If so, Alex Halavais pointed me to a much more practical eye tracker you could build yourself. The how-to PDF article is titled “Building a lightweight eyetracking headgear” (Babcock & Pelz, 2004).
In related social cyborg news, I’ve gone from the Sony UX to the Fujitsu u810 as my wearable computer. I’m continuing the pursuit for a viable pragmatic connection between “meat space” and online networked realm. While the prospect of merging live video with location-awareness has been commercially achieved through Seero, as well as through Video+GPS hackers like AtlasRider, I’m quite excited by the use of cellphones to similar effect. As seen from OgleEarth, you can now combine Qik.com and Ipoki.com to let you live stream video from your mobile phone to the web while also showing your location in real time:
In a conversation with Howard Rheingold over twitter, he remarked that a problem with the adoption of lifecasting lies in how it is a highly cognitive activity. When compared with reporting your status via twitter, it is more complicated. If cellphones were to make the process simpler, then I believe more of us would be willing to give lifecasting a shot.
At this rate, I’d say that our cellphones are becoming the everyday HUD (Heads-Up Display) for navigating our increasingly complex lives.