Here we have a patent filed by Sony for a sensor-laden hairpiece/wig. There are three prototypes; the Presentation Wig which has a laser pointer and allows you to change PowerPoint slides by simply pushing the sideburns – this would brighten up presentations no end ;-), the Navigation Wig which uses a GPS and vibration to direct the user, and the Sensing Wig which contains sensors to take physiological readings such as temperature and blood pressure.
The patent states that, ‘The proposed device could even be used as a kind of combined technically intelligent item and fashion item’. But when commenting to Bloomberg on its commercial potential, Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. may have proved his worth when he stated, “Who will want to use this wig will become a problem”!
In fairness though, the patent reminds us that wigs are worn by individuals who experiences hair loss due to medical reasons, who cannot be sure how other people see their hair. The patent states the wig could therefore contain sensors like a camera and an electric compass, so the user would know whether the wig is in the right place or not. This part of the patent has merit and has just about saved it from being nominated for our ‘Blue Blazes’ award.