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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Think Google Glass looks silly? Meet Neurocam

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Neurowear)

The company behind the brain-activated cat ears has created a head-mounted device that notices when you're interested in something and records video.

Devices that we control consciously with our minds are a long way off, but that hasn't stopped one company from making gadgets that tap into our neural activity. Now Tokyo-based Neurowear — the company behind the Necomimi cat ears and Shippo tail — has created a head-mounted gadget that automatically records video of things that interest you.

It consists of a headband with a cradle to mount an iPhone. A prism wraps around the camera and directs the view towards the front. Inside, it combines NeuroSky's MindWave Mobile and a BMD chip to monitor your brain activity.

Using software developed by Professor Mitsukura of Keio University and the Neurowear team, it measures "interest" and "like" on a scale from 0 to 100. When you look at something that causes a brain activity spike higher than an interest value of 60, the smartphone camera automatically records a five-second gif. This is saved to your phone with a timestamp and location, and can be shared to Facebook. Users can also choose to take clips with a manual mode.

"The Neurocam is an extraordinary experiment that challenges the way future cameras can evolve and how humans may interact with such devices," the team said on its website. "The Neurocam allows human emotions to become integrated with devices, and we see this as a totally new experience. We believe that in the future, home electronics, facilities, services will seamlessly merge 'thought' and 'emotions' with the human body as an emotional interface, such as what the Neurocam sets out to achieve."

The Neurocam isn't available to purchase just yet — Neurowear has a little more work to do. First, it wants to add a few software tweaks, such as effects that the user can add to clips, and tagging clips with emotions. It also wants to make the device smaller, more comfortable and more fashionable — although we can't imagine any scenario in which wearing a phone strapped to your head is either comfortable or fashionable.


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