The Neurocam wearable camera remembers every nice thing you see while wearing it, even if you forget about it later. It “knows” what you like because an integral brainwave sensor monitors the wearer's emotions: if you like the look of something, your Neurocam will record & save a 5-second clip for posterity or Facebook.
Neurocam is the latest project from Japan's Neurowear, the company that previously gave us innovative brainwave-controlled fashion accessories including Necomimi cat ears and the fluffy (and slightly silly) Shippo wearable wagging tail. With Neurocam, however, Neurowear has moved into an area less frivolous and more practical – clunky headset notwithstanding.
That clunkiness is mainly due to the presence of a user-supplied smartphone that clips onto the Neurocam's right side, resting just above the wearer's ear. The rest of the device consists of a Neurosky Mind Wave Mobile and a newly developed custom brainwave sensor linked to the latest BMD chip.
Clip on and connect a smartphone and you've got what amounts to a brainwave analysis device employing the phone's camera: the smartphone captures images while the screen displays the recorded scenes both in real time and in album format for viewing later. Users can also operate their Neurocam manually and the saved images can be shared via Facebook.
So, how does Neurocam work? The key is a unique analytics algorithm software program specially developed by Professor Mitsukura of Keio University and adapted for the forthcoming Neurocam by Neurowear's in-house research team. After receiving brainwave data from the Neurocam sensor mounted on the device'
s left side, the software assigns sensitivity values reflecting the wearer's "interest" and "like" of what they're viewing.
These values are then quantified on a scale of 0 to 100, and when the interest value exceeds 60 the smartphone's camera automatically records and saves 5-second GIF file clips of the viewed scenes. The files are then timestamped with the location noted. Need a visual? Click here to view a video c/o DigInfo TV.
Unlike Necomimi and Shippo, Neurowear's product planners see Neurocam as a stepping stone to more powerful, less obtrusive wearable brainwave-operated cameras that will offer vastly more functions. For example, the company is currently refining "manual mode" and automatic "effect function" software for a possible Neurocam v2.0 sometime in the future.
These features will enable emotion tagging on the recorded scene clips and, even more exciting, will automatically overlay filters and visual effects based on the wearer's emotions... sort of like looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but after the fact.
On the business/corporate end, Neurowear foresees a number of potential usages for Neurocam including city planning research and retail store development. Certainly Neurowear is enthusiastic, describing Neurocam as “an extraordinary experiment that challenges the way future cameras can evolve and how humans may interact with such devices. We believe that in the future, home electronics, facilities, services will seamlessly merge 'thought' and 'emotions' with the human body as an emotional interface.” If one may paraphrase Descartes: I think, therefore I cam. (via DigInfo TV and Engadget)