neurocam automatically shoots whatever its user finds interesting
By Ben Coxworth
October 30, 2013
Perhaps you know someone who's a member of the "lifelogging" community – these are people who record pretty much all of their waking hours, typically using small, wearable video cameras. The problem is, they inevitably end up with a lot of footage that's just ... well, boring, even to them. That's where the neurocam comes in. It's a prototype headset camera, that only records when it detects that its wearer is interested in what they're seeing.
The neurocam is a product of the Tokyo-based Neurowear team, which also brought us Necomimi and Shippo – moving, wearable, mind-controlled cat ears and a tail, respectively. On the less goofy side, Neurowear is also behind a set of headphones that selects music based on the listener's mood.
Like those devices, the neurocam incorporates sensors that detect electrical activity in the wearer's brain. Depending on how much activity is detected, the user's interest level in what they're observing is assigned a numerical value from 1 to 100. Any time that number exceeds 60, a 5-second GIF animated clip is recorded, capturing whatever happens to be in the forward-facing camera's line of sight. Those clips are date- and location-stamped, and stored in a video album for subsequent review.
A manual mode is also accessible, for those times when users want to record footage of things that they themselves aren't all that excited about.
In its current prototype form, the neurocam uses an integrated iPhone as its brains, storage medium, and camera. Down the road, however, it is hoped that a less gawky production version of the device would incorporate its own custom electronics.
Along with the lifelogging application, it has been suggested that the camera could also find use for things like assessing what goods in stores interest customers the most, or showing urban planners what parts of the city people find most appealing.
The neurocam can be seen in use in the video below.