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Sony Smart Wig Patent Brings Fashion Sense to Wearable Computing

December 4, 2013 - Written By Nick Sutrich

Wearable computing devices are the future, or at least that’s what the latest trend has been in the mobile world.  We’ve seen everything from smartwatches by Sony and Samsung, to head-mounted gear by Google and others come along, but what about something a little more…stylish?  If that’s what you were thinking then it looks like Sony has your back, and is taking you all the way back to the 1700s and beyond with a Smart Wig.  Yes that’s right, now you too can dress like George Washington while surfing the interwebs, all while concealing the smart components with your fancy new hairdo.  Sony has gone to far as to actually patent this under the broad title of “Wearable Computing Device,” and the patent is rather detailed and gives us a lot of information about what they want to do, and most importantly how they are planning on doing it.

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While the above diagram looks rather comical and appears to be right out of a page of your favorite 70s fashion catalog, it’s actually denoting where individual components of the Smart Wig will reside.  The patent specifically says that the components will be “at least partly covered by the wig in order to be visually hidden during use,” which implies you won’t have some sort of visual interface like Google Glass does.  Rather it seems that the Smart Wig relies more on voice and touch, and possibly using other displays like a monitor or projector.  In the above image the sideburns denote some sort of touch buttons inside the wig, giving users a touchable interface not unlike Google Glass has, all while maintaining secrecy of having the device at all.  If that’s not weird enough, the patent also covers the idea of having a camera embedded in the Smart Wig to enable the facilitation of communication.  Watch out GoPro!

The Smart Wig also features ultrasound transducers and position sensors, which will be used to let the user know things like if the wig is on crooked or if you are too close to an object.  Don’t want to go smashing your pretty wig now, do you?  While all of this is rather interesting and insanely comical, the likelihood of Sony bringing such a device to the market is probably pretty low.  Often times these sorts of patents are pie-in-the-sky ideas and tend to never materialize into a real product that’s sold in a store, rather some kind of test product that will later make way for another, less goofy product.  Of course with the way retro fashion is coming back into style, who wouldn’t want a stylin’ wig to look like your favorite Colonial-era politician?  Then again the place your going to may just ask you to check your wig at the door as Google Glass has been.