Project Captivate

An Eyeglass Platform for Measurement and Actuation Across Contexts

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Summary: Smart eyeglasses have become ubiquitous in the tech world, from wearable displays to heart monitors. They also have become popular in the research community because they are an ideal place on the human body for continuous monitoring of environmental and physiological signals. Unfortunately, many smart eyeglasses are not designed with aesthetics first, often leading to bulky designs that most people would not want to wear. This limits a researcher’s ability to conduct naturalistic, long-duration studies. Further, available smart eyeglasses do not allow researchers to connect their own devices (e.g. sensors) to the platform for data exfiltration and signal processing. Instead, researchers must create their own custom sets of glasses—a large time investment for an artifact that may only last the duration of the experiment. Our platform addresses these concerns while also being directed to studying a user’s cognitive state, specifically cognitive loading and overall attention. Our proposed eyeglass platform is made with the following constraints:
  • be easy to program via an external connector
  • have a built-in radio to allow for bidirectional communication
  • include a standard suite of sensors that can be toggled depending on the application
  • battery-powered and have included internal charging circuitry
  • allow for easy expandability
  • conform to an aesthetics-first design methodology
We have spent part of summer 2019 in Shenzhen, China, working with eyeglasses, injection molding, and electrical circuit board manufacturers on the initial design of our system. Our goal while in China was to learn the manufacturing limitations on various processes in order to push the aesthetics of the system so that the design appeals to users while still giving researchers all the capabilities they might need. Two key application areas that we would like to initially start applying this platform to are online education systems (e.g. Coursera) and concert performances.