NEC's New Remote Control: The Human Arm

Many stressed workers and maybe even one or two looking for marriage partners, pound the well-trod circuit around Toyko’s Imperial Palace Gardens each day with earphones funneling music to match the mood. But as any jogger can tell you, reaching for the portable music player to press pause, or fast forward to the next track mid-stride can be tricky, or even embarrassingly uncool.

Now a product developed by Japan’s NEC Corp. could allow image-conscious joggers to operate their music machinery without risking mishap: The electronics maker’s new technology uses the human arm as a remote control for electronic devices, and while NEC is still figuring out what to use the technology for exactly, the most obvious application would be music players, a spokesman said, though it may also work well with videogame systems. All the runner would need to do would be to tap the left arm with the right hand, or vice versa, and the music could be played, paused or skipped.

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