It may look like the poor man’s Google Glass, but don’t let the iPhone-strapped-to-the-side-of-your-head thing fool you, Neurocam and its accompanying app may foretell the future of advertising.

Demoed recently at the Human Sensing 2013 conference in Yokohama, Japan, the system includes a headband equipped to hold an iPhone next to the wearer’s temple. The phone is fitted with a special prism so that the camera can record footage from the wearer’s point of view.

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The headset also includes EEG sensors that scan the brain for correlative spikes in interest. The Neurocam iPhone app assigns the EEG data a value from 1 to 100. When the data hits 60, interest is detected, which cues the phone’s camera to start recording. Footage is recorded as five-second GIFs, which are then stored in an album so users can remember what exactly struck their interest.

While most of us can easily remember that pair of boots or motorcycle that made us linger, advertisers would love to tap that vein of consciousness. Which is why advertising titan Dentsu is backing the Neurocam via a joint venture called Dentsu ScienceJam.

“Because this system is hands-free, we think it could capture a life log, which would be different from deliberately pressing a shutter to capture things you like,” ScienceJam’s Kana Nakano said in this video.

“As an application in a B2B environment, Neurocam could determine what goods in stores interest people. And because the information includes position data, you can do mapping, so it could also show what places people are interested in as an aid for urban development planning. We think it could be used in lots of ways like that.”

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So much for being mindful of all that cell phone radiation, now that it’s strapped to the side of the head.    Send article as PDF