It is believed that anything is possible once we put our minds to it. Our technological genius proves that this is definitely so. Combining the two and using the mind to control technology has become many manufacturers aim, in order to keep up with the current trends. The brain’s electrical activity can be recorded along the scalp, using a process called EEG. By monitoring these brain waves, technology has been designed to translate them into commands allowing various devices to be controlled with just the user’s thoughts.
Not only is this process convenient, but it has been useful in helping those with physical handicaps lead more fulfilling lives. Even though the technology is still being refined, paralysed individuals are able to control wheelchairs and other equipment by wearing a cap and training their brains to send the appropriate signals to the machine. EEG on its own has limited accuracy, however, and a combination of brain control and artificial intelligence seems to be the best way to operate these items. The combination means that the individual will not need to focus constantly on controlling their device. The brain would only have to produce the initial thought and then the artificial intelligence would take over.
Operating technology with the mind has an unlimited scope, and some of the ones available or coming soon are:
- Prosthetic Arm by DARPA – Wearers are able to control this limb with their thoughts, and the arm will function in the same way as a real one. The introduction of these prosthetic devices means that many people will be able to use them to regain their independence, especially when the technology is applied to other prosthetic limbs.
- NeuroSky MindWave – This is a headset that has been designed to improve the user’s brain ability and comes with educational, gaming and life improvement apps. One of the accessories for the MindWave is the Orbit Helicopter, which the user can fly by using their concentration to dictate the aircraft’s course.
- Muse – This is a portable headset which controls relaxation and focus, making it easier for the user to perform mentally challenging tasks. The manufacturers are still working on the object however and in the near future the Muse will be used to control iPhones and Androids by brain wave activity.
- Emotiv EPOC – This device allows people to control their computer using only their mind. It is particularly beneficial for gaming technology and can be adapted to control any electrical device.
- Necomimi and Shippo – Not all the technology that is being produced to be used with brain waves is for ease or convenience, some of it is just for fun. This pair of ears and tail will scan brain waves and respond to them. For example, the Necomimi ears may stand up when the user is alert and the Shippo tail will wag whenever its human is happy. The achievements we can make with technology are just simply mind-blowing!