No question about it, strapping a webcam to your dome or rocking a set of unsightly head-mounted displays can kill a substantial amount of time, but researchers from the University of Bristol are looking at more practical uses of wearable cameras. A shoulder-mounted camera system that "automatically tracks head movements and can recognize hand gestures" has been developed in the UK, and eventually, they hope for it to recognize what the user is doing and make his / her life easier by communicating with other devices based on their actions. The cam is controlled wirelessly by a host computer, which "uses the camera's output to keep track of objects, map its position and recognize different hand gestures made by the user." Interestingly, the perched device even includes a trio of motors for muti-directional assistance, and built-in inertia sensors keep it level with the dips and dodges of life. Of course, we can't promise you that everyone (like mall security) will take kindly to a Big Brother-type device flanked on your shoulder, but at least you won't have to hire a bodyguard to watch your back, right?

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Shoulder-mounted camera could extend human abilities