These new earbuds would let you control your phone by smiling, so the future is now
As our phones get smarter and smarter, so do the ways we can control our devices without using our hands. Developments like Siri and Bixby were total game changers – but what if we could control our phones with something simple, like a smile or nod?
Denys Matthies, a Ph.D. student at Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research in Rostock, Germany, is asking that question.
Matthies and his team are developing a pair of super-smart earbuds that, when paired with a smartphone, can recognize facial expressions and complete certain commands. These commands could be as simple as inserting a corresponding emoji into a text, or answering and declining phone calls.
The prototype for the system can recognize five expressions: Turning your head, opening your mouth, making a “shh” noise, smiling, and winking. The accuracy is about 90 percent, but goes down a few points if you’re on the move.
According to Matthies, there is no plan for a commercial rollout of this project yet, which is a research project for his PhD. Still, the project hints at big things on the horizon in the smart-phone world.