There's a device out there in the wild this week called Neurocam, working with an iPhone, a mirror, and a brainwave reader to take photos whenever you show interest in what you're looking at. The design of this product uses a rather simple setup that has the sensor set off an iPhone camera's shutter, sitting on a head mount that uses a mirror so the iPhone can sit flat against the user's head. Look simple enough to you?
The odd part of this setup is the brainwave sensors that hook up to your head. These sensors are able to monitor your brainwave activity - when your "brainwave readout" reaches 60 (on a scale of 0 to 100), the machine tells the iPhone to snap a photo. In this way, you'll find photos on your phone of things you're interested in, for whatever reason.
The Neurocam uses a prism to keep the iPhone flat against your head - without this simple setup, you'd need to have the smartphone out the long way - like a dog's ear on the side of your noggin.
"Because this system is hands-free, we think it could capture a life log, which would be different from deliberately pressing a shutter to capture things you like. As an application in a B2B environment, neurocam could determine what goods in stores interest people.
And because the information includes position data, you can do mapping, so it could also show what places people are interested in as an aid for urban development planning. We think it could be used in lots of ways like that." - Necomimi
At the same time, the company that's brought this idea to the public is the same responsible for the Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears from 2012. These cat ears move and react to your brainwaves the same as you'd activate the iPhone in this newest invention. The cat ears are also already out on the market, for real.
The one item in this project that users are a bit wary of at the moment is the actual smartphone sitting so close to one's head for extended periods of time. At the moment there's still concern over radio waves causing damage to the head from smartphones as they sit close to a user's head for long periods of time - so a device like this isn't necessarily the best solution in the end. For now it's a really great way to gain attention to the project - they're using an iPhone 5s, after all.
NOTE: This device actually captures more than photos - it uses the iPhone to collect 5-second GIF animations. Strange!
"We're using the iPhone so that analysis and capture can be done with one device. But this is still a concept model. So, we think there are lots of possibilities, such as turning this into a wearable camera." - Necomimi
In the future we're expecting the project to connect to a much simpler setup - perhaps a tinier camera like the one incorporated in Google Glass. Or even smaller!