Google Glass: To Read Or Not To Read Minds, That Is The Question
Pushing the limits of wearable technology will expand the digital horizon of the Internet of Things. And, telekinesis -- long thought to be a myth reserved for horror movies the likes of Bryan De Palma's 1976 classic, Carrie -- might be the next baby step in advancing this innovative technology. However, as quickly as the software developers at MindRDR launched an app to 'read minds' on Google Glass, the Big G was just as swift to refute the idea.
Google Glass, already Old School?But let's step back a bit to get a better understanding as to how this David & Goliath story first began to unfold. The invention of Google Glass was ground-breaking when it was first introduced as "Project Glass" in April, 2012, but it wasn't until June 27th of that year that Google starting taking pre-orders for the "Google Glass Explorer edition" at a pricey $1500 per pair.
It was estimated 2,000 early-adopters placed pre-orders to become the first Google Glass Explorers, and began receiving their devices the first part of 2013.
What became so appealing to techies at the time was the fact that as wearable technology, Google Glass could be worn on the face, removing the distaste many have for acquiring yet another hand-held device. With a lens situated over the eye, the eyewear could be used for a variety of purposes, including augmented reality overlays, the ability to translate QR codes and to respond to voice commands.
The downside for many is that speaking out loud in public (similar to smartphones) can be rude and annoying to others, while embarrassing for the user. And even the alternative engagement of stroking the side-frame can grow tiresome over time.
So was Google's shiny new thing missing something? Was its innovative technology already outdated?
Mind-controlled WearablesIt appears the folks at The Place, the brain-trust behind MindRDR think so - and they've broken new ground to prove it. In their development of their free telekinetic app, it's their intent to 'augment' the augmenter. Their EEG (electroencephalography) sensor device is another physical piece of apparatus that wraps around the head positioned in a way so it can transmit back and forth with your Google Glass.
In so doing, it lets a wearer use brainwaves to take photos of what they see, simply by concentrating really hard on the image. Once their thoughts become the focused image they like, they can then transmit and share their pictures on Twitter and Facebook, just like we've become familiar in doing with apps like Instagram.
"Google Glass is one of the world’s most recognizable and popular pieces of wearable technology, but after getting our hands on it, the challenge of connecting it to brainwaves was one we could not resist," said Dusan Hamlin, founder and CEO of This Place.
Sour Grapes . . . we didn't think of it first!
Perhaps a case of "sour grapes," but in a formal rebuttal to the BBC, a Google spokesperson made it clear the company does not support or condone the app and have no plans at this time to add it to the Glass apps Store. "Google Glass cannot read your mind," the spokesman stated, somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
"This particular application seems to work through a separate piece of (apparatus) which you attach to Glass. (so) we have not reviewed, nor approved, the app (and) it won't be available in the Glass app store."
It's important to be mindful. . .There are foreboding dangers involved in reading minds and the whole idea of tapping into telekinesis. For starters, in the social media space we've already seen how folks can get themselves into deep trouble when they tweet before think - or sext a revealing photo that can be re-released for public consumption.
And what about the lack of privacy and intellectual property issues that could arise when cyber-criminals learn how to hack into your mind-reading devices to not only read your minds, but even worse, virtually steal your thoughts. It's a Brave New World out there - best to start thinking before we start thinking, don't you think?
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