Over the past few years technology has evolved; from motion sensing technology and voice commanded technology to eye controlled technology. The next obvious step, and perhaps the final frontier in how technology can be controlled, is mind controlled technology – it’s the stuff of science fiction movies, and it has now become reality.
A few days ago Samsung announced that, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Texas, it is experimenting with a mind controlled system that allows subjects to launch applications, play songs and turn on and off a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 just by concentrating on a blinking icon. The research involves the subjects wearing quite bulky EEG caps studded with electrodes. In the past, EEG systems required that gel be smeared on the scalp to improve conductivity, which could take up to forty five minutes; however the electrodes used in Samsung’s research were dry and take only a fraction of the time to set up – they do though have the drawback of lower signal quality, but this is something that the researchers are working on.
At this time the mind controlled tablet is reportedly accurate in recognising thoughts correctly between 80-95% of the time and allows a selection to be made no more than every five seconds.
Although this technology is geared towards those with disabilities, it won’t be long before it will be available in some form to everyone; the implications of mind controlled technology are huge.
Two things which will have a big impact on this type of technology in the near future is news that in the States, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. National Institute of Health will be putting about $100 million into research for The BRAIN initiative; and in Europe the Human Brain Project has won major EU funding. The race to see what makes us tick is on.