Every once in a while, a patent pops up online that makes you shake your head and ask "you can't be serious?" Sony's patent for a "SmartWig" is one of those strange concepts that leave you scratching your head.
While tech companies are chasing the smartwatch and eyeglass form factors for the future of wearable computing devices, Sony's exploring the possibility of using wigs that connect wirelessly to smartphones. According to the patent posted to USPTO, Sony's "SmartWig" could be used to let users know when they've got email notifications by vibrating or sending out small electric shocks. Similarly, vibrations can also rumble on different parts of the wearer's head to provide cues for directions.
Sony's even patented the idea of integrating a touchpad into the sideburns, which could be useful for flipping through slides in a Powerpoint presentation. Raising your eyebrows could also be turned into a command for controlling other computing devices.
Not crazy enough? The patent states the SmartWig could also have a built-in camera, GPS, and a laser pointer. Why anyone would need the latter is beyond us.
All chuckles aside, Sony envisions more serious uses for the SmartWig. Article 57 in the patent states artificial muscles (hair extensions or fake mustaches) could be combined with the wig and change with the wearer's mood. For example: "If a user is excited, the hair dynamically changes." Additionally, the wig could be used to monitor brain wave, blood pressure, temperature and other health-related stats.
Sony's patent could be serious, or it could be just a concept that will never be turned into a commercial product. It's hard to tell with a patent. Remember when Google Glass seemed liked a far-off idea that would remain in the realm of fiction forever? Well, look what happened.