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Cool Devices Wishlist Installment

Tuesday, August 02 2005

After reading about the Goldfish Hearing Aid (an earplug that can replay the last 10 seconds of audio upon command (also, I don’t think it really exists yet)) I started thinking about a couple other cool devices that we should have:

Digital Camera Contact Lenses
Create a contact lens with a CMOS sensor in it that sits directly below the iris to avoid obscuring vision, and is tilted just right so that it can capture images from the wearer’s perspective. Give it some cilia that, when bent by blinking, generate enough electricity to power the rig. Images are captured after the chip and/or cilia detect specific blink patterns. When taken out at night, the lenses offload the images directly to Flickr using the docking port/contact lens case.

Airbag Garments
This idea comes as I nurse several sore spots on my left leg after a pretty hard skateboarding slam. I want a pair of pants that can detect when I’m about to fall down, and detect where the most impact is going to occur and then shift either air or some kind of gel to the impact zone. I imagine a sort of dual layer pair of pants that is embedded with motion and proximity sensors. The sensors constantly talk to the two layers, and when sudden motion is detected, they do some math to figure out where to constrict the two layers, resulting in a pile of up air/gel in a specific spot. This wouldn’t be life saving in a car accident or anything, but it would be really nice for sports like skateboarding where even with protective gear, you can’t always cover every inch with padding.