Brain-controlled device could help the disabled : Mail & Guardian Online

Brain interface: next best thing to telekinesis

Here are two great articles discussing very early versions of a device designed to allow a user to interface with their PC using brain waves.

People have been studying and developing new ways to interface with a PC since the mouse was brought into existence circa (1968-1972 Palo Alto Research Center). There have been joy sticks, track balls, touch pads, optical devices that watch the direction of focus of your retina, finger print readers, keyboards, split keyboards, tablets, pens, text readers etc.

All of these devices share the goal of allowing our brains intentions to be translated into action that records information in a computer interface. Ergo we’re trying to find a way to interface our bodies to the computer hardware, as it is our interface to that of the computer.

So at CeBIT a company has initiated some research to jump straight to the source, ergo the human central processing system and hard drive aka. The Brain.

The device is still in its very early stages, takes about an hour to get the EEG like cap on, and even then the computer interface must learn how to interpret an individuals brain waves, which is reminiscent of speech recognition software.

There are many obvious benefits, from helping the disabled, to increasing the speed of translating thought into digital copy, to helping EMT’s diagnose a patient or communicate with someone in a coma, or limit the liability and expense on corporations and insurance companies relating to repetitive motion injuries.

Its important to understand that this is currently only an input device, ergo your brain sends info to the computer but does not receive.

Given the speed at which voice recognition software has progressed, this might take a 5-10 years before it could ever make it to prime time and even then, The Gates Foundation might have to step in to fund it on the medical side to keep the ball rolling.

But this could move us one step forward towards establishing a capability for humans to literally perform a brain dump into their PC’s (For Harry Potter fans this would be the equivalent of a Pensive.)

If an output device could be structured, then we could all go full tilt on information overload.

Technorati Tags: EEG, EEG Mouse

Written by: Brett Bumeter, President