Smart Earrings May Be The Next Smart Accessory Category

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Smartwatches and bands have proliferated in recent times as accessories to smartphones, as well as a health tracker in addition. Then there’s smart rings creeping their way in as well. But now, you may need to get ready for the next contestant in the field of things you need to remember to charge every so often. And this comes in the form of smart earrings.

Or, as the team that developed these at the University of Washington calls it, the Thermal Earring. The thing is still in its prototype stage, so it naturally doesn’t look like something you’ll buy anytime soon. But as it is, the smart earring consists of two temperature sensors – one attached magnetically to the wearer’s ear, and the other dangling about an inch below for reading room temperatures.

Source: University of Washington.

In a study involving six users, the smart earring provided more accurate in sensing skin temperature when compared to a smartwatch, though the team did not specify any specific model. The entire package is “about the size and weight of a small paperclip”, and can be personalised with resin material or with a gemstone without affecting accuracy. It also comes with a 28-day battery life, connecting via Bluetooth.

The researchers say that, with earlobe temperatures varying more than the generally stable core body temperature, this smart earring can be used to measure the wearer’s eating and exercising habits. Beyond that, it can also be used to track stress and, for the ladies, ovulation and periods.

Thermal Earring smart earrings 3
Source: University of Washington.

For now, it will be awhile before these smart earrings will become a commercial product. The researchers are looking at wider health monitoring features like heart-rate monitoring being implemented, as well as the ability for it to be charged via sunlight or kinetic energy from it swaying.

(Source: University of Washington)

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