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back to article Think Google Glass is creepy? Wait until it READS YOUR MIND

Think you couldn't look any sillier than a Glasshole? Prepare to be proven wrong by a British startup that asks you to add a forehead-dimpling biosensor to the dorky spectacle that is Google headgear. The Shoreditch-based firm This Place unveiled its MindRDR app yesterday. The app connects Glass with an electroencephalogram ( …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    As if self-obsessives weren't already convinced their every move matters to the Twittersphere (yes, I used that word), they will soon imagine we want to know every brain-fart their wonderful minds generate.

    So, who reckons Scoble will be the first to publish his brainwaves?

    OTOH: Useful for disabled people to control TIOT, but we know that the original good purpose of a technology is often not enough to stop it from being ruined by morons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Twittersphere (yes, I used that word)"

      And you spelt it wrong.

      1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

        Twatters-fear? (The entirely rational feeling of dread experienced when encountering a wayward hashtag roaming unfettered in the real world)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is there a word I can use for when someone has incorrectly spelled spelled as spelt?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Since this is a UK forum "Spelt" is the correct spelling, "Spelled" is an American bastardisation.

          Ps. You might notice there isn't a "z" in bastardisation also that would also be....

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "We didn't start the project to make money"

    Just to soak up VC funding then?

  3. Sander van der Wal
    Alien

    Mind reading, if it is going to work with sufficient accuracy and subtlety, is actually really cool. What you do NOT want is your mind state being transferred to Google.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Mind reading, if it is going to work with sufficient accuracy and subtlety, is actually really cool

      I personally cannot wait for the day when they try to read my mind. It'll take a while to purge that and reboot the whole show, trust me (evil grin)..

    2. Graham Marsden

      > What you do NOT want is your mind state being transferred to Google

      Have they invented Effectors, then?

  4. madmalc

    What's creepy about google glass?

    Why has the reg got something against google glass - its what we all need and will have in a future that can't come soon enough - it just adds to our human capabilities. Grumble Grumble

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What we all need?

      Speak for yourself, I have no interest in having a computer strapped to my face 24x7.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's creepy about google glass?

      Nothing... It's something new they don't understand. True Luddites.

  5. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    WTF?

    I only skim-read the article but what I got was that this mind-reading device is useful for taking hands-free pictures of one's dump? Very useful and hygienic, if someone's interested in that sort of snaps.

  6. Captain Hogwash
    Big Brother

    With enough further development it could be...

    useful in providing evidence when trying thoughtcrime cases I suppose.

  7. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Oh deer deer deer deer

    "The Shoreditch-based"

    And in one leap they had demonstrated noone should take them seriously.... But hey, lots of hits.

  8. frank ly

    " ... the dorky spectacle that is Google headgear."

    I see what you did there.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Why not put a blue LED on the front ?

    Makes you look more like a Dalek...

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Why not put a blue LED on the front ?

      A red one is better; would make you look like a borg.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Why not put a blue LED on the front ?

        A red one that goes side-to-side and you can look like KITT from Knight Rider in human(-ish) form.

  10. Beachrider

    Does Google glass put out fires?

    It sounds like someone's hair is on fire...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leaving aside the snarky comments

    The technology ("mind reading" and note the quotes), actually has its uses.

    If El Reg could give more of a shit about what goes on in Europe instead of being a Google / Apple / Microsoft whore, then everyone here would be familiar with TU Berlin's driverless car project, and its experimental use of this technology, directing the car by thought rather than physical action--if you think this is useless, imagine a future in which paraplegics or other seriously disabled people could have the same freedom of travel as those of us who are still fully able-bodied.

    Just saying.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Leaving aside the snarky comments

      Driving anything by direct thought control is probably going to create more problems than it solves, given that few people are truly single minded in their approach to anything. Unless there is an equivalent of the 'Google Glass!' type of command before the car accepts an additional instruction say to correct the steering as one normally does dozens of times a minute or a buffer using GPS or Google Maps, in which case the mental command is only necessary at the beginning of the journey.

      Otherwise, if there is real time direct thought control it would only need the odd stray thought to confuse the car and cause problems. Imagine; 'Ooh there's old Jonesey I must take his lawn mower back later'. Or looking at a scantily clad girl in the street and not concentrating on the road ahead, that is already a major problem here in the summer.

      Going back to the article; the photo of the Reg's intrepid hack immediately made me think of Davros.

      If it makes you look like a borged dork are you a Bork or a Dorg?

      Easy as it is to laugh at, some incarnation of Glass/Cyborg like tech is almost certain to be a part of our future, in the eighties it was a life in a Filofax, then PCs, Laptops and now 8 core 4GB smartphones this year and smart watches will eventually catch on maybe along with Glass if Moores Law can be manipulated far enough. Then when you begin to fit all the tech in something smaller than a watch, where do you put it? In your ear? and then what?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Leaving aside the snarky comments

        > Driving anything by direct thought control is probably going to create more problems than it solves

        Oh, hi Chris. I had no idea you were involved in the TU Berlin project, or perhaps you work in a similar project I'm not aware of?

        Thank you so much for your expert insight into the matter--did you Cc all those silly PhD and post-doc researchers over in Germany? Damn, if only you had spoken up earlier...

        :-/

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Leaving aside the snarky comments

          Probably too late for this as I have been busy.

          I made the comment expecting an erudite reply giving some idea of how these problems have been adressed. Perhaps by you Mr AC as you seem to have read enough of the project to be impressed by it but clearly you prefer to adopt the position of a patronising arsehole rather than display your erudition.

          However a quick look at the University's web page shows a very small mention about the Braindriver as a demonstration that has a long way to go, when the project is up and running and all problems solved I will cheerfully bow down to their expertise and buy them a beer.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Leaving aside the snarky comments

      If El Reg could give more of a shit about what goes on in Europe

      If you could learn to read, you'd see that the article mentions accessibility twice explicitly, and again implicitly with the reference to Hawking.

      But thanks for the plug for an unrelated project. Have any other trumpets you'd like to blow?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Leaving aside the snarky comments

        > If you could learn to read,

        May I suggest that English comprehension is not quite your strong point either? :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leaving aside the snarky comments

      If El Reg could give more of a shit about what goes on in Europe instead of being a Google / Apple / Microsoft whore, then everyone here would be familiar with TU Berlin's driverless car project, and its experimental use of this technology, directing the car by thought rather than physical action--if you think this is useless, imagine a future in which paraplegics or other seriously disabled people could have the same freedom of travel as those of us who are still fully able-bodied.

      Sure, let's call it "for disabled people" and thus scream over any critical thinking. For completeness you should also implore people to think of the children, btw. I have my doubts about the sanity of using mental control of +700kg of steel hurtling along at 70mph by today's increasing ranks of ADHD sufferers..

  12. GitMeMyShootinIrons

    It's not the mind reading you have to worry about...

    ... It's when they give themselves read-write access you have to worry!

  13. Richard Pennington 1

    The other worry ...

    ... is when it reads your mind and finds nothing there.

    1. ItsNotMe
      Thumb Up

      Re: The other worry ...

      ... is when it reads your mind and finds nothing there.

      As it will for anyone using these asinine things.

  14. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Uh-oh... we guys are in trouble.

    Since science tells us that we men think about sex from 10 times a day to every seven seconds. (depending on who you believe).. I wonder what the Google Glass response will be?

    1. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: Uh-oh... we guys are in trouble.

      Guys & Grls, thinking about sex without interruption is the trick of choice to fool a polygraph lie-detector.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Uh-oh... we guys are in trouble.

      Since science tells us that we men think about sex

      "science" tells us nothing of the sort. Those claims are complete inventions that people incapable of critical thought have spread as myth.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and here I was concerned that it wouldn't ever be possible for glass explorers to look even more ridiculous.

  16. illiad

    mind reading???

    people have been doing basically the same thing for **decades** ..... the brain and body works using small electrical currents, so concentrating hard on something produces more - the software just has to differentiate the slight difference in the noise produced.. and I guess its more from the eye muscles!!!

    Its called and ECG or EEG- ask google about it! or look here (research goes back to 1970s..)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%80%93computer_interface

  17. Suricou Raven

    Really?

    Is this actually picking up brain activity (Very hard to do reliably) or just reacting to muscle contractions?

    1. Hargrove

      Re: Really?

      @ Suricou Raven

      Is this actually picking up brain activity (Very hard to do reliably) or just reacting to muscle contractions?

      A most relevant question. From the description in the article it appears that the device is simply responding to signals. Without knowing the details of the sensor design it is impossible to know whether those are generated in the brain, from control signals being conveyed to the muscles, or from electrical measurement of some physical parameter associated with the physical movement of the face.

      The use of any and all of these as inputs for control of devices and systems is a field of serious study. Ultimately, I believe, millions will benefit. But what can and cannot be done is limited by basic principles of science and mathematics.

      Even if the device in question is responding to electrical signals from the brain, Raven is on the mark. I took a cursory look at the research at TU Berlin touted by another commenter. It appears to have involved using brain signals to provide guidance direction to a flight simulator. To quote from one article:

      Reportedly one of the subjects was able to follow eight out of ten target headings with a deviation of only 10 degrees.

      I believe this is representative of the state of the art--which is to provide simple inputs to control the operation of a system where other essential functions are preprogrammed. Even then, the results touted fall considerably short in term of what I would want as a passenger in a plane on approach to a major airport.

      Modern commercial fly-by-wire/light-computer-mediated passenger jets are not operated in fully autonomous flight mode for liability reasons. But my understanding is that, this technology has had the capability of flying takeoff-to-landing, completely hand's off. To evaluate the real significance of thought-control experiments one has to know--at the system level--exactly what inputs were controlled by the brain, and which by other sophisticated automation.

      As for reading and understanding the information content of a person's thoughts, as another commenter pointed out in so many words, "Good luck with that."

      I remember my grandmother used to say . . . I do wish someone had gotten her cookie recipe before she . . . Which reminds me, MUST remember to pick up something for desert from . . . Holy ----, is she wearing anything under that . . . Oh Look!! A squirrel!!! . . . What was I saying? . . .

      Oh yes, good luck with that.

      The greatest potential problem with use of this technology lies not in what it can do, but in what those who are using it believe it can do . . .and how they act as a result of those beliefs.

  18. Alister Silver badge

    "We didn't start the project to make money," Kirton said. "For us it's just about standing among giants, being among greatness."

    Is he related to Steve Bong?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    hat time

    If you want to hide the mind-reading bit wear a hat, if you use a Topper think of all the extra-gear / add-ons you can tote about

    About time hats made a comeback, no one will say you are a borg with a hat,or kilngon etc for that matter

  20. Cipher
    Terminator

    GoogleNet will become...

    ...self-aware at 08:34 AM August 27, 2017.

    On August 29 support for all Redundant Human Interfaces will stop...

  21. MatsSvensson

    And wait till you try to take it off, and feel the pain from thousands of silvery strands that has penetrated your skull and snaked their way deep into your brain.

    What do you mean, you didn't read the user agreement before you out it on?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I didn't know the Borg had beards

    That is all.

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