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Researchers enable smartphone control with the face

Updated on July 7, 2017
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Signals come from the ear

Fraunhofer researchers have chosen a different way to control a smartphone with gestures.

They measure the electrical currents and the deformation of the ear with sensors in the ear. They change, if one's face only a little distorted, trying to wiggle with the ears.

This would allow you to control the smartphone without hitting or even frightening passersby. The sensor detects even the smallest movements in the face by the way the shape of the ear canal changes, and measures muscle currents that arise during movement of the face or head.

The researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Graphical Data Processing (IGD) in Rostock call their system EarFS.

How to Control Your Smartphone With Your Face

System also detects tired drivers

"The challenge was that these flows and movements are sometimes very small and must be strengthened," says Denys Matthies, a scientist at IDG.

"In addition, the sensors must not interfere with other body movements, such as jolts when walking." EarFS not only allows microinteractions with the smartphone, such as accepting and rejecting phone calls, or controlling the music player.

It can also increase safety when driving. Who's tired is distorting his face. The eyelids close in a faster rhythm or the driver starts to yawn. The plug in the ear can also interpret these symptoms and warn via smartphone before a journey without a break.

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