KSU BrainLab develops BCI for Google Glass, Aims to improve the quality of life for locked-in people
Without doubts Google Glass has the unique potential to form the basis for a new generation
(Jul 23, 2014) — Without doubts Google Glass has the unique potential to form the basis for a new generation
of portable brain-computer interfaces. Now Neurogadget has the honour to introduce
to you one of the first Google Glass Explorers who’s been using Glass in brain-computer
Link To Articlehttp://neurogadget.com/2014/07/22/ksu-brainlab-develops-bci-google-glass-aims-improve-quality-life-locked-people/10478
Adriane Randolph, executive director of Kennesaw State University’s BrainLab, together with her team, has developed a working prototype that takes input from
an evoked brain response to trigger the four basic interface commands for Google Glass:
swipe left, swipe right, swipe down, and tap to select.
While this isn’t the first time we hear about Google Glass being used for BCI purposes, there are significant differences between BrainLab’s work and other similar projects,
namely This Place’s MindRDR application, which uses NeuroSky’s MindWave to let users take and share photos on Facebook, just
According to Adriane Randolph, “both the MindRDR app and our system currently use
a separate bioamplification system to capture and read brainwaves and transmit feedback
to an application on Google Glass. Where the MindRDR appears to be using a continuous
brainwave such as alpha according to the placement of the sensor and description,
we are using an evoked response called the P300. With this ‘aha’ response, we are instead able to overlay several different commands
to control Glass. Thus, a user will be able to control more than taking a picture
but instead access all of the functionality of Glass.”
In other words, “while the MindRDR allows the user to take pictures while thinking, the BrainLab has
been developing with Glass to completely control the user experience of Glass with
the user’s brain. That would be the main difference besides the BrainLab’s project
being a long-term research-based project”, adds Josh Pate, BrainLab associate.
Desktop to Mobile
Last summer, Randolph was selected to pilot the wearable technology device, Google
Glass. She had big plans for her new accessory beyond its everyday use for checking
email, taking photos and surfing the web. She intended to expand her BCI research
to a mobile platform.
Within a few months, another key member of her research team was outfitted with Google
Glass and their study took a new turn. The wireless platform opened new possibilities
in working with those with limited physical capabilities.
Instead of nodding, swiping or talking to give commands to Google Glass, the research
team developed a method for controlling a mobile device using only brain waves.
“We believe this is the first working prototype designed for the Google Glass platform.
We know that selection-type commands exist using neural input, but we had to figure
out how to use that in Google Glass in a way that benefits our research,” Randolph
said. “We chose evoked responses which are like an ‘aha’ response that we record as
surface EEGs as input signals.”
Randolph also told Neurogadget that “BrainLab shares This Place’s excitement that Google Glass holds tremendous possibilities for people living locked-in to their
bodies, but who are otherwise cognitively intact. We also recognize Google’s technically
accurate statement that “Google Glass cannot read your mind” from the perspective
that Glass is not doing the actual EEG-recording and filtering needed to interpret
brainwaves. However, as a small computer, Glass is taking the results of this separate
processing and using it as input to control embedded apps. The real distinction is
in how seamlessly the brainwave processing and feedback to an interface can be implemented.
Certainly, in a similar vein of deflecting from Glass’ capabilities of facial recognition,
it may not wish to stir up another hornet’s nest by extolling mind-reading capabilities.”
Beside being an enthusiastic Google Glass Explorer, Adriane Randolph has been researching
brain-computer interfaces for twelve years and received PhD in Computer Information
Systems from Georgia State University. She has directed the KSU BrainLab since its
founding in 2007 with hopes to improve the quality of life for people with severe
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.