The Smart Glasses can Monitor the Brain

Academics from South Korea are currently working on a new kind of glasses. Printed in 3D and connected wirelessly, they are able to monitor brain activity, eyes, but also automatically transform into sunglasses or serve as a controller in a game.

With the Covid-19 epidemic, connected watches and bracelets have been much talked about, and some manufacturers have not hesitated to highlight health-related functions, such as detecting atrial fibrillation problems or the rate of oxygen in the blood. On the South Korean side, we decided to go further by adding sensors on … glasses!

The American Chemical Society echoes this with the publication of work done by engineers from the KU-KIST Graduate School of Converging Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation of Korea. Using a 3D printer, they first created a very classic spectacle frame. Then they put sensors in there, and that’s where it gets very interesting.

Sensors to monitor brain activity

First, they incorporated flexible electrodes located near the wearer’s ears and eyes. The first sensors act as an electroencephalogram for the electrical activity of the brain, while the second follow eye movements. The collected data is transmitted wirelessly from the glasses to an application. The first brain recordings have been successful, and they can be invaluable in the health field.

As for ocular data, it offers a whole range of applications. In the video game first of all, since the engineers managed to stack bricks in a Tetris type video game simply by moving their eyes. The designers explain in particular that the sensor takes into account the angles of the eye movements. This function could therefore, in the long term, make it possible to play without joysticks or even to replace a mouse on a computer. The goal is to go further in the human-machine interface by using the eyes, which is also promising for assisting people suffering from a severe handicap such as quadriplegia.

A UV sensor to transform them into sunglasses

Among the other sensors placed on the branches, there is an accelerometer, similar to what is found in smartphones or connected bracelets. It therefore makes it possible to count the number of steps during the day, but also to detect a fall. Again, this could be useful for monitoring elderly people, especially with the wireless connection.

Finally, it is not new, even if it remains very rare, the glasses are able to darken automatically depending on the brightness. One of the branches incorporates a UV light sensor, capable of measuring the intensity of the incoming ultraviolet rays. When the sunlight is too intense, the sensor triggers an electrochromic ionic gel which blocks UV inside the glasses to darken them. Result, it turns into sunglasses!


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