You can now control Google Glass with brainwaves

Sarah Spickernell
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You can now control Google Glass without moving a muscle (Source: MindRDR)
It is now possible to control Google Glass with nothing more than your thoughts, thanks to a new technology called MindRDR.
Created by London user experience company This Place, it is an electroencephalography (EEG) headset which makes it possible to take a picture while remaining completely still.
It is attached to Google Glass – the head-mounted hardware that currently has to be operated using voice commands or finger control – to create a communication loop in combination with another piece of hardware called the Neurosky EEG biosensor.
It uses the sensor to measure how varying levels of brain activity correlate with the mind's level of concentration. The app translates the brainwaves into a meter reading via Bluetooth, and superimposes it on the camera view in Google Glass.
There is a screen in the corner of the wearer's right eye, where a white horizontal line appears. The more you focus, the higher the white line goes, and once you have concentrated enough for it to go right to the top, the in-built camera takes a photograph of what is in front of you.
So far, the headset has been programmed to be able to take a photo based on a “yes” or “no” command, but the developers have identified 18 different commands that have the potential to operate Google Glass. These include imagining to write and performing mathematical sums.
This Place hopes that the technology will open the door to a range of new possibilities. These include carrying out activities in high-pressure, hands-free situations such as during surgery, and helping people who are completely paralysed to gain more control.
As well as meeting a range of medical needs, it is though that MindRDR could be used to create applications that “train” people to concentrate better, allow them to play games using just their minds, or maybe even to help find somewhere to get coffee when they're feeling a little tired.
The firm's creative director Chloe Kirton believes that what MindRDR can do now is just the tip of the iceberg. "While MindRDR's current capabilities are limited to taking and sharing an image, the possibilities of Google Glass 'telekinesis' are vast,” she says.
"In the future, MindRDR could give those with conditions like locked-in syndrome, severe multiple sclerosis or quadriplegia the opportunity to interact with the wider world through wearable technology like Google Glass."
Google, however, says that it has not been involved in the development of the new product. "Google Glass cannot read your mind," a spokeswoman told the BBC. "We have not reviewed, nor approved, the app so it won't be available in the Glass app store."
The technology is in its infancy and is currently very expensive to produce, but This Place hopes that other developers will adopt it and adapt to fulfil their own needs. To that end, the company is not currently signing any deals but is allowing potential clients to try it out for free.

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