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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Emotiv Systems Hits Roadblock, Delays Release Until 2009

December 02 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

project-epoc-wireless-mind-reading-headset.jpgJohn Callaham over at Big Download reports that Emotiv Systems, the company that was expected to release a brain-wave controller by the end of the year, is delaying its release due to issues of it actually working.  The press release where it was unveiled at the Game Developers Conference may be a sign.  "The public demo didn't go as planned; the device simply didn't work in front of the media who attended the press conference."  And while the company later explained that the product didn't work properly due to "interference from wireless transmitters," it's probably safe to say that the product didn't work because it simply isn't working.

I guess we all should have seen it coming.  A Brain Controlled Interface which is good enough to control video game characters seemed too good to be true for a 2008 release, and I guess it was.  What Emotiv probably found out was that technology as specific as this, much like Google's Voice Recognition software, takes a lot of time to perfect.  Google 411 has been working for years, using hundreds of thousands of voices to finally make a viable product.  Emotiv needs more time to do just the same.  The real question is how long will it take?  2009?  Let's hope.