MindRDR lets Google Glass users take photos and post them using only concentration
July 11, 2014 by Bob Yirka
A team at interactive studio company This Place has announced the development of an app for Google Glass that provides a bridge between the wearable device (via Bluetooth) and a Neurosky EEG biosensor headset—allowing the wearer of both to take a photograph and post it to Facebook or Twitter using only their mind.
Google Glass has pros and cons—it's worn on the face, thus it doesn't have to be held, and with a lens right over the eye, it can be used for a huge variety of purposes. On the down side, commands are given by voice, "Okay Glass…" or by sliding a finger along the side-frame. By most accounts, both approaches leave much to be desired—speaking out loud to your device in public can be either annoying to others or embarrassing to the user, while stroking the side-frame can grow tiresome. Into this void steps the folks at This Place—they want people to be able to give Google Glass commands using only thoughts. MindRDR is just the first tiny baby-step. The app takes data from the EEG sensor and converts it to visual information via a white line overlaid over imagery in the camera's viewfinder. Concentrating on the line causes it to slowly move upwards. When it reaches the top of the viewfinder, a picture is taken—repeating the exercise results in the photo being posted to either the user's Facebook or Twitter account.
Clearly, this is not rocket science, but it's not supposed to be. The team at This Place acknowledge the limitations of the app but at the same time suggest it should be viewed not as something anyone would want now, but something that will develop into something truly useful, which users will want. To help make that happen, they've released the code for the app, making it open source. The hope is that other groups will take the technology further, adding functionality, reducing the size of the EEG sensor—doing things that will result in users someday being able to control the device entirely with their mind.
Thus far it appears that executives at Google are not impressed—they've released a statement reminding people that Glass cannot read your mind. Reps for the company say they haven't reviewed the MindRDR and have no plans at this time to add it to the Glass apps Store.
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