Google Glass hack adds 'mind control' feature - video

Google Glass

New attachment allows users to take photos and share them online just by thinking about it

LAST UPDATED AT 12:06 ON Thu 10 Jul 2014

Are you concerned about what Google knows of you from your searches, clicks and reading patterns? Well, soon the tech company may be able to get inside your mind as well.

A new attachment for Google Glass will allow users to take pictures and share them online just by thinking. The technology, built by a London-based company, uses brain signals to control the wearable device.

An EEG (electroencephalography) headband connects with an app built by user experience company This Place which measures electrical activity in the brain. That activity is then converted into instructions that are sent to Google Glass to trigger the device's functions.

Dusan Hamlin, This Place's CEO, says that the app, named the MindRDR, could offer a more intuitive way to operate Glass than Google's current voice command and swipe system and could ultimately be used by those suffering from locked-in syndrome or quadriplegia.

When a user concentrates, a white line appears in the corner of Google Glass's silicone heads-up display. As they continue to concentrate, the line grows and when it is full, the inbuilt-camera will take a photo.

Google does not officially support MindRDR but a spokeswoman told the BBC that "we are always interested in hearing about new applications of Glass and we've already seen some great research from a variety of medical fields from surgery to Parkinson's".

This Place researchers believe that MindRDR could offer a more intuitive way of interacting with the device. "We wanted to realise the true potential of Glass by allowing users to control it with their minds," said Hamlin. "Currently, users either have to touch it or use voice commands, which are restrictive for some social situations and for users with disabilities."

The technology still has a long way to go, The Independent notes. At present MindRDR is limited to only a small number of functions. Its "lack of nuance" in determining what a user is thinking is one of the many challenges it faces. To combat this, the app's creators have launched MindRDR on the developer community GitHub, so that other programmers around the world can help to improve it. · 

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