At some point in the near future, we’ll have “smart” everything. We may as well embrace it now. If you thought the trend was going to end with smartwatches or Google Glass, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Sony has just patented a “wearable computing device,” which sounds like all those other gizmos, but isn’t—this one is actually for a “SmartWig.” That’s right, a hairpiece with electronics that can process the same kind of information as every other high-tech device.
The wig covers part, if not all of the users head. A processing unit connected to sensors provides input data, as well as a communication interface that connects to an external computing device. This apparatus will provide feedback in the form of a vibration or a slight shock each time the wearer gets a text, call, or email. A vibration, sure. Or better yet, have the wig scratch my head when a call comes in. A shock is just a bad, bad idea, and makes me think of my mom’s dog who had to wear a shock collar to prevent excessive barking. It didn’t work (the dog wasn’t the brightest)—I’d hear a bark and then a yelp, bark then yelp. I can only imagine what even slight shocks would feel like for people who text or call a lot, and I can’t help envisioning these people yelping each time like poor, stupid Opus.
Sony is also thinking about including ultrasound transducers, which could warn the wearer about nearby objects that threaten to wallop them in the head. Maybe they’ll use the shock and awe warning system for that, too. The massive coporations also wants to include a camera, speakers, and a microphone. We’ve all gotten used to people walking around looking like they’re talking to themselves, so why not? Of course, it will also have GPS capabilities so it can communicate directly with the Amazon drones. The wig will also have position sensors so wearers will know if it was crooked. You don’t want to look silly in the name of convenience.
Sony insists that there are numerous business applications for the SmartWig, such as touching buttons in the wig or on the accompanying smart sideburns to activate computers or advance PowerPoint slides. Hilariously, the company also argues that “wigs are useful to enhance a user’s appearance and change other’s impressions because different hairstyles give different impressions. Thus, many people use wigs.” They then talk about how maybe their invention will appeal mostly to bald people, or maybe to actors. Right…
Even though they got the patent, it doesn’t mean that the SmartWig will actually come to fruition. I’d imagine that it won’t, but that doesn’t mean the smart trend will stop. Just wait for the SmartBra. Seriously, it’s coming. But that’s another SmartPost for another time.