"There is a wide variety of wearable computing devices, such as computational glasses, clothes, shoes, and so on... However, most wearable devices have become neither common nor popular," the developers said in an essay issued last year.
"We think one of the biggest reasons is the style... the focus has been function, not style," said Hiroaki Tobita and Takuya Kuzi. "The goal of SmartWig is to achieve both natural and practical wearable devices," they said, adding the "natural appearance" of their invention -- which can be made from human hair -- could prove a selling point.
A spokeswoman for Sony said Thursday that patents for the SmartWig had been filed in the European Union and the United States, although there were currently no plans to commercialize the product.
Despite its phenomenal success with the much-aped Walkman, Sony has struggled in recent years in its mainstay electronics business, and has been without a significant global hit. Sony's chief executive officer Kazuo Hirai told local media last month he is pouring business resources into the development of wearable devices, which also includes the company's second-generation smart watch.