Apparently, Samsung is working with Professor Roozbeh Jafari of the University of Texas at Dallas to harness brainwaves in an effort to make tablet interfaces respond without the need of touch or voice. The device used has been the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the specific goal is for users to turn on the tablet, select contacts, applications, and songs in a playlist.
Infonetics directing analyst Julien Blin stated that Samsung had “probably been working on the project for a couple of years now…” That’s interesting since this would be something that would’ve had many people that follow and report on technology talking. It’s one of those frontiers in tablets and smartphones that appear pretty far out of reach and major leap over giving voice commands. As a matter of fact, using your mind to control any device is something that would probably halt development on voice controlled interfaces and improvements. It would most likely result in either abandoning voice control or moving forward since voice control could prove to be cheaper than mind controlled devices.
The actual experiment sees subjects wear an electrode cap. Designed by Jafari, they don’t have the liquid gel that electrodes normally use and can be set up much faster. The drawback is a weaker signal, but Professor Jafari is on that as well. The experiments showed that subjects could actually launch applications and make selections by blinking. The team are looking to handle any neural concerns such as epileptic seizures caused by the flashing lights used to synch the system and the brain.
Several other institutions are looking at mind control to manage devices and other things as far as weapons. The University of California at Berkley have are working to allow for passwords to be entered using only thoughts. While a great feat to achieve, the device used—the $100 NeuroSky Mindset, a Bluetooth headset—leads one to wonder if the Mindset does anything else.
Brown University are entertaining a device—an implantable brain sensor—which has had success with animals for over a year. The drawback here is that it gets hot. Of course, anything getting hot near, on, or in your brain is no good at all and there have been some objections. It’s almost a certainty that Brown University are working to resolve this.
The BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) will see the U.S National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and DARPA put in research funds in the $100 million range for the 2014 fiscal year. The BRAIN Initiative’s goal is researching methods to cure, treat, and prevent brain disorders.
Signs point to there being a ton of potential for neurotechnology to have uses across the board: medical, mass use, warfare, etc. On the subject of Samsung, Professor Jafari, and company’s experimentation into mind controlled tablets, Blin mentioned that the advancements in the field as far as using eye-tracking is concerned, we’re “…two, three, or four years down the road” with that.
What do you think? Does mind controlled tablets seem interesting? What other uses do you see for this technology?