It’s the stuff of science fiction – turning on lights by thinking, sending emails from your phone without taking it out of your pockets, telepathic communication between mice and even mind controlled robots – but what if it was real. We are much closer than you think to making brain computer interfaces an everyday reality. Not that they don’t exist – right from lightweight bands on our heads (Muse) to Bluetooth headsets (Neurosky, Emotiv), there are many companies who have created devices which use electrodes connected to the brain externally to detect changes in brain behavior, similar to an EEG scan. We can now play basic games on smartphones through thought and use the Muse app to exercise our brains – Samsung is also testing tablets controlled by the brain.
However, these technologies may soon leap beyond our wildest dreams as extensive studies into the working of the brain may change our understanding of it completely and allow us to do much more. Last year, a project called BrainGate let 2 people with paralysis use robotic arms controlled completely by thought to hold and pick up things – after each had a chip inserted into their brains. But with a better understanding of the brain we may not need a chip. Whatever the answer may be – it is sure that in the near future our world is going to change beyond imagination – you could wake up tomorrow with your robot assistant at your side with a glass of lemonade – just cause he knew you were thirsty.
Photo Credits: Image: inhabitat.com