This is a writeup on a recent article in the WashingtonPost entitled “Your tech devices want to read your brain. What could go wrong?”
There’s a massive gap between the possibilities discovered in labs and the products we use in our daily lives. Our scientists are closing this gap by converting brain research into delightful products that can be used by anyone.
Neurable, NextMind, Facebook and other tech firms are championing brain-controlled gadgets as the next big thing.
In 2015, Ramses Alcaide, a PhD student at the University of Michigan, developed a brain-computer interface that would allow people to control software and physical objects with their thoughts. Today, that interface is behind plans by a Boston-based start-up, Neurable, to begin shipping a set of brain-sensing headphones to let you know when you’re poised for peak productivity.
Using your thoughts to make things happen in the real world was once a thing of science fiction. Now, it’s moving into reality, and Neurable’s interface is just one of the products companies are trying to develop that would usher in a consumer revolution in electronics.
Already, brain tech allows players to manipulate avatars in video games by concentrating on parts of the screen.
Researchers think these advances might lead to the next big tech revolution — giving human beings essentially a sixth sense: If you think it, a computer can capture it, display it and even say it aloud.
Alcaide foresees the day when you can control your smartphone without touching it with your hands or commanding it with your voice… That technology — promising users that if you think it, it will happen — would be a monumental step in consumer electronics.
“Think of it as a Fitbit for your brain,” Alcaide said.
Let Your Mind Take Control
(At this stage, only the Developer Toolkit is available.)
The NextMind Dev Kit includes
NextMind Sensor. A brain-sensing wearable with an adjustable headband.
Next Mind Engine. Real-time algorithms transfer neural signals into commands.
Next Mind SDK. Unity resources include tutorials, demo apps and examples.
The science behind NextMind:
NextMind technology decodes the act of focusing.
Scientists have discovered that brain activity can be translated into real-world actions, allowing consenting subjects to control a wide range of digital objects with their mind in real-time.
The NextMind Engine uses machine learning to decode brain activity and pinpoint the object of focus.
From the moment you start focusing, you can see your brain acting on the object. As you focus more, the neural feedback on the digital object increases until it obeys your command.
This technology breakthrough represents the next frontier of human-computer interaction.
Some say that as things advance, it might even be possible for firms to alter the organ that essentially makes you you (with your full consent, of course).
“The brain is what makes you human. You are your brain. If technology enters your brain, it’s entering you,” said Rafael Yuste, director of the Neurotechnology Center at Columbia University. He heads a research team that in 2019 discovered it might be possible not only to decode your thoughts but to inject memories into them as well.
Neurotech is a catchall term broadly encompassing an industry set on connecting human brains to computers.
Already, brain tech allows players to manipulate avatars in video games by concentrating on parts of the screen. And Facebook last month revealed plans to interpret your intent to move a finger to trigger digital commands.
= = = > You might also be interested in the article in MedicalXPress entitled “New brain reading technology could help the development of brainwave-controlled devices” > = = =
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