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article imageDevelopments in mind control computing

By Tim Sandle     Nov 15, 2017 in Technology
Advances are continuing with controlling computers by speech, including popular consumer products like Alexa and Google Home. But what about controlling computers through brain waves?
Some computer experts argue that it should be possible to interact with computers via thought, using brain waves as the medium. This is not science fiction, and several companies are experimenting with methods, according to The New York Times.
How to build an interface?
Such technology would work via electroencephalography. This is a longstanding means of assessing electrical brain activity, which is via sensors placed on the head. The process measures voltage fluctuations resulting from ionic current within the neurons of the brain. Electroencephalography is most often used to diagnose epilepsy, which causes abnormalities in electrophysiological readings.
Neurable
One company exploring this technology to interface with computers is a start-up called Neurable. The company is developing a virtual reality game that can be played with the mind. This is designed to explore the potential of electroencephalography.
Neurable is based in Boston, U.S., and it was founded by former University of Michigan student researchers Ramses Alcaide, Michael Thompson, James Hamet and Adam Molnar. The aim is to develop a device, equipped with multiple sensors designed to detect and map electrical activity in the brain. The headset, according to TechCrunch, will record neural activity which will be interpreted by custom software and then translated into an output. This is a type of brain computer interface.
Speaking with IEEE Spectrum, co-founder Ramses Alcaide indicated what researchers were aiming for: “Accurately and responsively interpreting a user’s intention. It’s been 13 years of my life’s work, and the technology is now finally ready to be used in a consumer product.”
Optical control
Other companies, such as Facebook, have the aim of creating more powerful systems using optical sensors. Facebook has set the goal of, within a few years, of implementing a technology that will allow people to type with their minds five times faster than they can operate a smartphone keyboard.
In relation to this, Mark Zuckerberg has said: “We're building further out beyond augmented reality, and that includes work around direct brain interfaces that one day will let you communicate using only your mind, although that stuff is pretty far out.”
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