iPod Users Can Grin and Hear It

Hands-free controls for mp3 players give listeners' jaws a workout
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 21, 2007 10:28 AM CDT
The Tokyo commute, one of the busiest in the world, can pack passengers into a train too tightly to allow iPod access.   (Shutterstock.com)
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(Newser) – New computerized headgear developed in Japan will allow commuters and other users who have their hands full to control their iPods by clenching their teeth. The infrared sensors are sensitive enough to distinguish gum-chewing and speech from the second-long clenches intended to skip a track or pause a song, AFP reports.

The technology would work for anybody capable of chewing food with their teeth, says a researcher; in the future, the technology may operate cellphones and other devices. It could even free PowerPoint presenters from the tyranny of buttons. "Handicapped people would also be able to move wheelchairs," says the team leader. No dentists were asked to comment.