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London firm creates thought-controlled software for Google Glass

Sat., July 12, 2014

Forget voice commands and touch gestures: A London firm has developed a way for Google Glass users to control their devices just by thinking.

This Place, an agency that specializes in creating user interfaces and experiences for programs used in the medical industry, developed a software called MindRDR that allows Google Glass to connect with the NeuroSky MindWave Mobile EEG biosensor, a head-mounted device that can detect a person’s brain waves.

EEG stands for electroencephalography, the measurement and recording of electrical activity in the brain. NeuroSky is a Silicon Valley company that sells EEG biosensors, some for as little as $79.99 from

The system works by pairing the EEG biosensor with Google’s $1,500 Glass device using Bluetooth. Once the connection has been made, the user fires up MindRDR, which takes what the EEG biosensor detects and converts it into commands that Glass can process.

After turning on the app, users will see a camera interface on the screen of their Google Glass. They can then pick a subject, aim their head in its direction and concentrate on it while Glass displays a meter showing the level of their brain waves. The more intently a user focuses, the higher the meter climbs until it reaches the top, triggering Glass’s camera.

By repeating the process, users can direct MindRDR to upload the photo to one of their social networks.

For now MindRDR can only be used to snap pictures, but CEO Dusan Hamlin said he sees the software as the launching point for a world where people can interact with their digital devices by simply thinking about what they want. To that end, This Place has uploaded the code for MindRDR onto GitHub, a popular website used by developers to share code they create with others for free.

“What we’ve done is just scratch the surface, and we hope that we’ve inspired people to build on what we’ve started,” Hamlin said.


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