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  Newsmakers   Google-Glass type device to read your brain!

Google-Glass type device to read your brain!

PTI
Published : Aug 13, 2016, 12:07 am IST
Updated : Aug 13, 2016, 12:07 am IST

Imagine a Google-Glass type “smart” eyewear that can integrate augmented reality with your own and feed you live information about your surroundings.

Imagine a Google-Glass type “smart” eyewear that can integrate augmented reality with your own and feed you live information about your surroundings.

A new portable system developed by researchers may make this possible.

Wearable displays also have the potential to enhance cognitive ergonomics, or more simply, make it less mentally taxing to complete certain tasks, researchers said. But before technologies like Google Glass become a part of daily life, engineers need a way to monitor exactly how they affect the brain in everyday situations, they said. Researchers from Drexel Univers-ity in the US developed a portable system that can do just that. The system uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure a person’s brain activity.

The system can integrate augmented reality with your own, feed you live information about your surroundings and even be used in the operating room, researchers said.

The applications for fNIRS are seemingly endless — from training air traffic controllers and drone operators, to studying how students with disabilities learn best, they said.

“This is a new trend called neuroergonomics. It is the study of the brain at work — cognitive neuroscience plus human factors,” said Hasan Ayaz from Drexel University.

Until now, most studies involving fNIRS took place indoors.

Though participants wearing the system could move around freely while being monitored, they were still observed within laboratory confines. Now, researc-hers have brought their portable fNIRS system “into the wild.” They successfully measured the brain activity of participants navigating a college campus outdoors. Researchers wanted to compare one group of participants navigating the campus with Google Glass to another group using Google Maps on a smart phone.

Location: United States, Washington