Neurocam headset automatically
records interesting moments


A team in Tokyo has created a head-mounted camera that monitors brain waves and automatically starts recording when the wearer becomes interested in something (+ movie).

Neurocam headset automatically records interesting moments

Developed by Tokyo company Neurowear, the Neurocam headset monitors electrical activity in the brain. When the user sees something that causes a spike in brain activity, it automatically triggers a smartphone camera mounted on the side to start recording a five-second clip of what the user is looking at.

Users download an app on their iPhone, which is then slotted into a harness on the side of the headset. A prism then directs the camera’s lens to look forward at whatever the wearer sees.

Neurocam headset automatically records interesting moments

The algorithm that powers Neurocam was developed by Professor Mitsukura of Keio University. Everything the wearer sees, and the subsequent reaction in the brain, is quantified on a scale of zero to 100. When the user sees something that the algorithm allocates a score above 60, the headset begins recording. The clips can then be shared on social networks such as Facebook, or viewed at a later date.

Neurocam headset automatically records interesting moments

"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. "The Neurocam allows humans emotions to become integrated with devices, and we see this as a totally new experience."

The team is considering adding extra software features to enhance the user experience. Manual Mode would add emotional tags to the scenes the Neurocam records in the same way it adds GPS and location data. Effect Mode, meanwhile, would automatically overlay filters and visual effects based on how the user was feeling at the time.

They are also exploring how to make the headset more wearable. "In the future, we aim to make the device smaller, comfortable and fashionable to wear," they said.

While still a prototype at present, the project is being backed by Japanese ad agency Dentsu in a joint venture called Dentsu ScienceJam. They believe the Neurocam has a number of applications relevant to advertising and marketing, including helping to determine which products people are interested by in a retail environment.

Neurocam headset automatically records interesting moments

Another possible use for the the headset could be to aid in urban planning, since the information about interest levels can be overlaid with mapping and GPS data.

The Neurocam is the latest device to come out of the Neurowear project. The team grabbed attention in 2012 with NecoMimi, a giant pair of cat ears that used brainwaves to express the user’s feelings. When the wearer is focused or alert, the ears perk up, but when the device detects the user is tired or sleepy, the ears flop down.

Neurocam follows a trend of camera equipment taking photos independently of the user. Last year, OMG Life released the Autographer, a wearable camera that automatically decides which moments of your life are worth photographing based on changes in light, colour, motion and location.

  • Grapes

    Let the comments begin! I can’t wait.

  • Gareth

    I’m sure Google Glass can probably do the same thing without sticking a phone onto the side of your head! Oh dear me.

  • praha
  • Dylan

    Unless you can’t actually move or use your hands in a situation, I can’t see an advantage over a normal camcorder as with this you will get a picture which is out of frame, probably has hair in it and it will be at an odd angle.

    Besides that you look a bit silly with an iPhone on your head. I do however find the usage of an iPhone as something appropriate as many people will have access to one. I also find the brain activity monitor interesting as it looks a lot better than most monitors, though its functions could be seen as a lot less.

    Anyway, I thought human emotion was already integrated into technology ;)

  • Roan

    Looks like it will give you cancer.

    • smack

      Good thing cell phones don’t cause cancer, according to every major study every performed on them. Nice try though.

      With regards to the design though, this is basically what the original Glass looked like, isn’t it?

  • bobby D

    I think they really nailed this one.

  • Grapes

    It looks like the fist prototype was made with a hair band, some Sellotape:

    One cheap iPhone case that you get from the market and a tooth brush!. It hasn’t really moved on from that. :)

  • Mark

    Seems like an interesting experiment and a highly efficient way to aggregate visual material for a serious collection of boner jams.

  • Summusen

    They haven’t heard of brain cancer huh! Irresponsible and idiotic I must say.

  • Nitram

    Neurocam: helping you remain a virgin since 2014.

  • Darren

    What I like about this is its Japanese-ness. A product truly being honest about its ideas and goals. One can imagine any type of gadgets being mounted on, whereas when one speaks of Google Glass for example, much is emphasised on the brand.

    I think many times we got carried away by names like Apple, Google, Yahoo and some other names when we talk about innovation. We have been spreading the importance in an ever transparent manner yet it sounds even more scarce.

  • stophourus

    I suggest it should be called the “memory”

  • Phone on head – it is safe and healthy?

  • izobelo

    That looks really comfortable to wear!