Control your iPod with your teeth

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Photo: AFP/HO

The AFP has a story today about a head gear that lets people control their music players by clenching their teeth.

The thing "uses infrared sensors and a microcomputer," the AFP reports, and it was created by a Osaka University research team, which "hopes to put the device to commercial use for music players and believes it can eventually be adapted to run cellphones, wheelchairs and other products."

The photo above shows Osaka University researcher Kazuhiro Taniguchi wearing a prototype of the teeth-controlled hands-free device on his glasses.

And how does it know which button you want to push? "The computer receives a command when the user clenches his or her teeth for about one second -- which differentiates the action from other activities such as chewing gum and talking," the AFP reports, adding: "In the laboratory, grinding right teeth can play and halt music on an iPod while clenching left teeth makes it skip to the next track."

And if you wear dentures and wonder whether the device will work for you, good news: the Japanese researchers say the system "can be used by anybody who can chew food with their teeth -- real or artificial."

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