Telekinetics: The Next Big Comm Technology?

February 28 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Entertainment   Year: 2008   Rating: 16

New brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are poised to increase human productivity, advance entertainment and transform social interactions. A potential catalyst for all the new media that’s emerging right now, such devices could play a game-changing role in the near to mid-term evolution of comm technology.

When I first read Emotiv’s announcement of a brain-wave reading headset my reaction was lukewarm. But then, as my brain rattled off implication after implication of this new comm device, it all sank in: “This is telekinesis. And it’s nearly market-ready!”

Subsequently, a quick search through the Future Scanner for similar material turned up a helmet that allows Second Life users to navigate their avatar simply by thinking about walking. Boom. Another BCI that’s nearly usable. And this one’s been around for three months already.

With monkeys controlling robotic arms, robots climbing stairs and cars parking themselves clogging my attentional input valves, it’s no wonder that BCI’s had evaded my innovation detectors…

After a bit of reflection, I’ve come believe that these technologies have the potential to truly revolutionize the way that we play games, drive automobiles, learn in classrooms, surf information and ultimately relate to other people—and not 20 years from now, more like 5-10 years.

A product that in 2008 lets you control a video game by adjusting your mental and emotional states is a big, big deal on the macro timeline of innovations. It heralds the beginning of a new era.

“The next major wave of technology innovation will change the way humans interact with computers,” says Nam Do, co-founder and CEO of Emotiv Systems. “As the massive adoption of concepts such as social networking and virtual worlds has proven, we are incorporating computer-based activities not only into the way we work, learn, and communicate but also into the way we relax, socialize and entertain ourselves.”

Nam Do may be selling his company’s system, but his message resonates with me.

Imagine what the near-term successors to these early BCI’s will mean for brain-to-brain bandwidth. Together with virtual worlds, augmented reality, new semantic technologies, (etc), they have the potential to “lube” social network effects in a fashion that no human has ever witnessed.

Sound the trumpets. Telekinetic interfaces have arrived and are here to stay.

What potential near-term applications can you envision for BCIs?

When will you purchase you own personal Brain-Computer Interface?

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Brain and body enhancements promise bold future

June 09 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 9 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

Scientists predict that over the next three decades, technologies will bring about enormous changes in our physical and mental abilities. By as early as 2035, experts say, we could be living in a powerful disease-free, youthful body with tiny nanobots roaming throughout every cell maintaining optimum performance levels for all our daily activities.

Nano-enforced bones and polymer muscles will empower us with physical abilities almost beyond belief. We could outrun a horse, jump from the ground to a one-story roof, and focus our eyes to view microscopic creatures as small as dust mites. Cutting edge brain enhancements will provide even more super-abilities. We will control lights, security systems, and electronics with just our thoughts, and even perceive objects behind solid walls.

Intellectual property expert Fred Hapgood predicts that we will also enjoy “cell phone implants (which allow virtual telepathy) and memory backups (downloading memory to a computer disk) will also become available in this bold future”. Hapgood adds that it may be possible to upload and download entire minds in and out of bodies, achieving a sort of immortality.

Many of these abilities, experts say, are a long way off, but none are thought to be impossible. Most people embrace enhancements that would make them healthier, happier, and more able, but a few conservatives oppose this radical progress as not being “human.”

Ignoring this future though, may not be an option. If co-workers, friends, or competitors can search the Internet during conversations; remember exactly who said what, when and where; or control machines with just their thoughts, the only choice may be to join them or retire. The corporate world will definitely favor a neurotech-enhanced workforce in the future. (cont.)

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Brain-machine interface connects disabled to computers

September 03 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 5 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

Cyberkinetics of Foxborough Massachusetts has begun FDA-approved clinical trials with BrainGate, a device that enables paralyzed people to control computers directly with their brains – and eventually could help them regain complete mobility.

Most handicapped people are satisfied if they can get a rudimentary connection to the outside world. BrainGate enables them to achieve far more than that. By controlling the computer cursor, patients can access Internet information, TV entertainment, and control lights and appliances – with just their thoughts.

And as this amazing technology advances, researchers believe it could enable brain signals to bypass damaged nerve tissues and restore mobility to paralyzed limbs. “The goal of BrainGate is to develop a fast, reliable, and unobtrusive connection between the brain of a severely disabled person and a personal computer” said Cyberkinetics President Tim Surgenor.

BrainGate may sound like science fiction, but its not. The device is smaller than a dime and contains 100 wires thinner than human hairs which connect with the portion of the brain that controls motor activity. The wires detect when neurons are fired and sends those signals through a tiny connector mounted on the skull to a computer.

Implanted into the brains of five handicapped patients, the device is already showing great promise. A 25-year-old quadriplegic has successfully been able to switch on lights, adjust the volume on a TV, change channels, and read e-mail using only his thoughts. And he was able to do these tasks while carrying on a conversation and moving his head at the same time.

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