The ThoughtCam project's goal is to further integrate the human into the humanistic intelligence processing loop. The task amounted to creating a biologically adaptive interface between the user, and the EyeTap/WearComp system.
Biofeedback provided the necessary signals in our processing loop. With the help of ProComp+ hardware provided by ThoughtTechnology Inc., we were able to take numerous biological inputs and convert their analog signals to digital. Biological parameters such as skin conductance(sweat), body temperature, respiration rate and brain waves could be analyzed and responded to by the program.
An unexpected attack is a situation where the ThoughtCam system would be helpful. Changes in a user's sweatiness levels, body temperature, and respiration rate could all be useful parameters in determining the stress level of the victim. The proper response, would then be to take a picture of the culprit and have it sent to the nearest police authority or perhaps a safety network of other people wearing their EyeTap system.
The ThoughtCam project also allows changes in brainwave patterns to be detected and responded to. Brainwaves allow for a more subtle control of the ThoughtCam system. Sometimes,using our hands can be a nuisance or rude. For example, if we were in a meeting or talking to someone, perhaps it would be rude to start keying away at our EyeTap system or looking at our watches. Instead, the ThoughtCam system allows for a completely covert, hands-free mode of operation to control whatever computer system we may be wearing. EEG signals could also be correlated with various biological signals to figure out what "state" the user is in. Perhaps the user is driving down the road, and falling asleep. A commonly deadly situation could be avoided if the ThoughtCam system was on. The ThoughtCam system would detect the user falling asleep and begin an alarm routine. These two examples illustrate the adaptive nature of the apparatus. For the user to control the apparatus, some degree of training is involved. In much the same way, the ThoughtCam system must "learn" about the user so that it can respond when needed.
Last summer, Rubaiyat Islam and Daniel Chen worked dilligently to fixing problems in last year's code. Along with that, we introduced a new parameter not measured properly: brain waves. After all what is a ThoughtCam without a brain? So for the first time since the project began, we have sucessfully used the brain to control the EyeTap system.
We are now glad to say that thought control is well on its way. By various modes of thought we can take a picture, or tune the brightness, or change the contrast on the EyeTap system, all hands-free. Also, a new feature of the code, is a display of the various waveforms that a user might want to see. This will allow the user to practise, and train on our system, so that precise thought control can be acheived. It also looks neat. Since the completion of last summer's work our project has been featured on BBC, PBS, CBC's The Nature of Things and other features in the news.
Much of the code in xcapliveprocomp.c is long and overbearing. Our future goal with this project is to clean up the code, and lower the noise in the signal. We intend on introducing more modularity into the program
This summer(2001), I have begun to work with Sam Sadeghi, on this project. It has been renamed from the ThoughtCam project, to the H.I. Cam project. This is to emphasize the humanistic intelligent nature of the apparattus, and to deemphasize the focus on thought control, since this apparatus actually detects other physiological signals aside from the EEG. We have since submitted a paper for publication: "H.I.-Cam: Intelligent Biofeedback Signal Processing for the Realization of Humanistic Intelligence"
We will try to keep this page more updated in the future in regards to progress.
Daniel Chen and Sam Sadeghi, May 14 2001
ThoughtCam Group EyeTap Personal Imaging Lab - University of Toronto Under the Supervision of Steve Mann
Please visit our lab's page to see some exciting projects: University of Toronto - EyeTap Personal Imaging Lab Home Page