Technology that can help physically-challenged humans communicate

31 05 2011

Reposting David Teeghman’s post on DiscoverNews, July 15th 2010

“Slowly but surely technology is seeping into airplanes, which up until a couple of years ago felt like a final reprieve from the digital world. You can use your cell phone at certain times before take off and after landing, you can watch DVDs on your laptop and you can surf the Internet using in-flight Wi-Fi.

But it doesn’t stop there.

How about playing a thought-controlled game?

“We think it’s time that in-flight entertainment does more than simply distract you,” said Ariel Garten, CEO of Toronto-based Interaxon, which created the technology.

Passengers wear a special headset sensitive enough to pick up brainwave activity, basically electrical patterns resonating outside your head. Proprietary software converts the brainwave activity into binary code, that is the ones and zeros that make up computer code. That code becomes a signal that controls the game. With practice, a person can learn to manipulate his own brainwave activity.

The system scans your brain to see if you are in the mood for relaxation or concentration. If you are giving off alpha brainwaves and want to relax, the system sees that and sets up something soothing like a meditation program.

If you are giving off beta brainwaves and are looking to do something that requires more concentration, you could try out a program that improves your golf swing.

The ability to operate your electronic gizmos just through your brain is becoming more and more popular. You can even control robots just with your mind now, so it’s not a huge leap forward to be able to play games on an airplane using your mind as the remote control.

This technology was first put on display June 5 and 6, 2010, at On the Wings of Innovation, a global aerospace convention in Ontario. Everyone from astronauts to Apple founder, Steve Wozniak, gave the technology a test drive:”

My comment: How wonderful to adapt this for basic functions such as writing, playing music or painting. However, in an era when we have to pass laws for people to stop multitasking while driving, I don’t think that using this technology for driving a car is a good idea.




One response

7 12 2011
Mind controlled-avatar and telepresence « EducEdge

[…] BCI research has already provided some (relatively) mainstream applications, as you remember showed up on June 5 and 6, 2010 at a global aerospace convention in Ontario (ref.…) […]

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