Right now Google Glass is most useful for getting directions, performing quick voice searches and snapping photos. But one Explorer has found a much more entertaining use for Glass — playing Super Mario Bros. with your eyes.
Glass wearer Brandyn White has discovered a $25 hack to Google’s wearable computer that will let you use pupil-tracking as a control input. At the moment, Glass only supports voice dictation, touch input, and head movements as methods of input. In his video, White shows us how he took a 3D-printed webcam from Formlabs and inserted it into Glass to enable eye detection.
“These are the only parts required if you’d like to build one yourself,” he says.
But eye-detection isn’t the only type of input White experimented with in the video. Towards the end of the clip, he configures a wearable controller known as the Makey Makey to be worn inside his shirt. At the same time, White runs Super Mario Bros. through an NES emulator on Glass to play the classic platform video game by simply shrugging his shoulders to control Mario. In the clip, Glass is connected to a local server that streams the button presses to White’s headset.
In another example, White played Super Mario using eye detection technology, meaning he simply had to move his eyes back and forth to control the game. White says the delay is less than a second when playing with your eyes, but this could work to the player’s advantage.
“Interestingly, having a delay allows you to execute the action in advance and then observe the result later,” he said.
Experiments and developments such as these demonstrate what a device like Glass is actually capable of. It may be quite some time before you’re able to play video games with your eyes using Glass, but it’s certainly exciting to see what innovations Explorers have been playing with over the past several months. Google Glass is expected to hit its mass consumer launch in 2014, although Google hasn’t confirmed a release date or price just yet.