Neurocam - Brainwave-Based Camera

By: on February 11, 2014

According to Forbes magazine, 2014 is bringing back tight-rolled jeans headgear. Thankfully, most of it won't connect to braces or interfere with beer consumption like Joan Cusack's in Sixteen Candles, but much will look just as...poignant. From the Oculus Rift VR device to the foc.us headset for improving video gamers' performance to a noggin-affixed EEG translator for dogs, the year of wearable technology has arrived. With its fight for corporal space well underway, we take yet another look at how life is about to get amplified, up to 11, from head to toe.

Though still in testing phases, Tokyo-based bio-design firm Neurowear has developed the Neurocam, a wearable camera system that analyzes users' brainwaves to determine when they are looking at something of interest. If the Magic 8-Ball of biofeedback decides all signs point to yes, it triggers an attached smartphone to capture the moment. "Moments" are recorded and saved to albums as 5-second GIFs. Hmmm. Sounds like a nice way to journal my illustrious and exhilarating life without putting forth any effort whatsoever.

Neurocam detects emotions with an algorithm developed specifically for the headset by Professor Mitsukura of Keio University. The algorithm is based on sensitivity values of "interest" and "like", quantified on a range of 0 to 100. When a wearer's brainwave activity registers an Interest/Like Value of 60 or greater, Neurocam activates and records a GIF of the scene in range. GIFs are marked with a timestamp and location and saved in an album for later replay or sharing on social media. Neurocam will also record manually, and its smartphone screen will display the scenes of interest as it records them.

Headset hardware combines NeuroSky's Mind Wave Mobile and a customized brainwave sensor fitted with the newest BMD chip currently available. This technology transforms a connected smartphone into a tag team brainwave analysis device and camera.

Prior to its release, Neurowear plans to make the Neurocam device smaller, more comfortable, and less telemarketer-looking to wear.