Mind Control Just Around the Corner
Thought-controlled computing may seem like a futuristic fantasy, but Toronto-based company InteraXon is already ahead of the curve. Their product allows “total mind control” – of the computer components around you. By reading the levels and patterns made by your brainwaves and translating them as readable input for your computer, InteraXon’s product allows you to interface with your computer without speaking or clicking on any keys.
Contrary to popular perception, InteraXon’s technology does not read your mind, nor can an EEG translate the waves of electricity generated by your brain into coherent statements – in other words, this isn’t going to lead to your brain being hacked from afar. Rather, using a series of training exercises, you’ll be able to use commands transmitted via changes in pattern in order to manipulate devices throughout your environment. In February 2010, the company will feature their project “BRIGHT IDEAS,” an exhibition of their technology and its potential. By heading to the Ontario Pavilion during Vancouver’s Winter Olympics, users will be able to control lights shining in three separate, iconic locations around Canada: the CN Tower in Toronto, the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, and Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls.
Challenges for users of the technology will include training their equipment and themselves to communicate effectively, much as early voice recognition software required effort on the part of its users who had become accustomed to seeing the crew of the Enterprise hold lengthy discussions with their computer. But technology is advancing rapidly and InteraXon’s apparent dedication to building a robust network of support and innovation, bode well for the consumer side of this business. Equally, the company has presented academically on their technology and products.
InteraXon’s motto, “If you can think it, we can do it,” offers a glimpse into the far-reaching goals of this fledgling company. The potential for a fully-functional device that allows for mental manipulation of computerized software is virtually limitless, but immediate and practical benefits of the products and services being offered by InteraXon are apparent. The EEG technology could be used to relieve symptoms of medical conditions from quadriplegia to repetitive stress injury.
In the gaming world, imagine how much more quickly one could react to new situations and challenges if there was no need to use a joystick and the computer reacted with the speed of thought! Additional uses, both mundane and fantastic, would surely be found as the technology developed over time.