WHEN IS A BLINK not a natural blink? For Google the question has such ramifications that it has devoted a supercomputer to solving the puzzle.
Slashgear reports that the internet giant is using its $10 million quantum computer to find out how products like Google Glass can differentiate between a natural blink and a deliberate blink used to trigger functionality.
The supercomputer based at Google's Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab is a joint venture with NASA and is being used to refine the algorithms used for new forms of control such as blinking. The supercomputer uses D-Wave chips kept at as near to absolute zero as possible, which makes it somewhat impractical for everyday wear but amazingly fast at solving brainteasers.
A Redditor reported earlier this year that Google Glass is capable of taking pictures by responding to blinking, however the feature is disabled in the software code as the technology had not advanced enough to differentiate between natural impulse and intentional request.
It is easy to see the potential of blink control. Imagine being able to capture your life as you live it, exactly the way you see it, without anyone ever having to stop and ask people to say "cheese".
Google Glass is due for commercial release next year but for the many beta testers and developers who already have one this research could lead to an even richer seam of touchless functionality.
If nothing else you can almost guarantee that Q will have one ready for Daniel Craig's next James Bond outing. µ