If you're sick and tired of looking for the tiny L and R printed on your headphones every time you want to plug in, this news will be music to your ears.
Researchers at the Igarashi Design Interfaces Project in Tokyo have developed a pair of "Universal Earphones" that automatically switch the audio channels when they detect that you've placed an earbud in the wrong ear.
The team achieved this by attaching a proximity sensor on one of the earpieces to measure the distance to the ear.
When placed in the right ear, the sensor detects the ear behind it and points to the back of the head. The position of the sensor serves as a cue for the auto-correcting earphones. If you accidentally insert the right bud into your left ear, the sensor ends up facing the front. Noticing this change in position, the sensor triggers a small embedded audio circuit to adjust the audio so you're hearing the proper stereo mix in your left and right ears. … Read more