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?