Headset Uses Ear Muscle Signals for Hands-Free Control

Funded by the National Science Foundation, Los Angeles-based company Reach Bionics Inc. has created a system that measures the electromyography (EMG) signals generated by the muscles around the ears and wirelessly transmits those signals to target devices as commands. The creators demonstrated the device at the 2015 International CES Eureka Park. The Reach Bionics headset is a next-generation wearable controller, utilizing proprietary sensor and software technology. Their technology repurposes signals from a vestigial muscle system around the ears that was originally evolved to focus, or 'point', the ears towards sounds - therefore, it has the potential to serve as an innate and intuitive way to direct a computer cursor, operate electronics, or drive a motorized wheelchair.