Dallas-Based UX and Mobile Firm Touch Titans Hacks Tesla P90D With Raspberry Pi and Emotiv Insight Headset

Sometimes, when it comes to business, and the proliferation of an idea, it’s more important to think about the concept than the raw product. When people think of the vehicle of the future, they are usually conditioned to think of a vehicle produced by Elon Musk’s famous company. Why is that? There are likely many reasons. One reason might be that Teslas are archetypal.

In reference to the open collaboration of many Tesla engineers in other companies’ electric vehicle projects, Tesla Motors VP of Business Development Diarmuid O’Connell told WIRED earlier this year, “Tesla is in the business of inspiring competition. The more electric vehicles the better.” Electric vehicles are about more than who can build the best model. They’re also about creating a mass market solution to a national and global problem.

But how can one improve upon the archetype? Modifying a Tesla is no small feat. But when it’s done with skill, it can be a vast improvement upon a magnificently designed machine. Firms like the Dallas-based Touch Titans have hacked the Tesla they own in ingenuitive ways that many of us only dream about.

By hooking up a Raspberry Pi single-board computer to its P90D in a weekend project this March, the Tech Titans were able to subvert some of the Tesla app protocols (they got the sunroof to open all the way instead of only partially) and create the first recorded instance of voice and Arduino controls to be applied to the specific make and model. They also got the charge port to swing open with a simple “open” command and released a second video in April demonstrating “mind control” by porting in an Emotiv Insight wireless headset that translates brainwaves into meaningful data intended to control devices.

There are a lot of innovative projects floating around that people are attributing to the highly customizable credit-card-sized board and this wireless headset, but not all of them are this unique.

Tesla has been quick to patch exploits discovered by hackers in the past, even if they are a boon to the savvy programmer. Hopefully, this will not dampen this firm’s future efforts to continue with engaging the Tesla interface.

Kate Morgan