The title of this article may sound surreal but bear with us for a moment. The technology of controlling certain gadgets just with the power of your brain truly exists. It may sound like something out of a Sci-Fi movie or a Philip K. Dick novel, but this technology is real and it exists today.
Controlling objects in a video game may be the stuff dreams are made of, but we assure you, you don't need to get a brain implant to truly use this kind of technology. Some of it is really user-friendly and can be used not just for entertainment purposes, as many often put priority to, it is there to help the wounded and treat the sick as well.
The idea of doing this may be traced back as early as the 1920s when scientists discovered the electric activity in the human brain and developed EEG. Now those signals are used to form a pathway between the brain and the gadgets it is meant to control. So brain waves are translated as commands which the user sends through an interface to a gadget which in reality performs a given command.
Here are just a few examples of awesome gadgets that exist now which can be controlled through the power of your mind.
The greatest hope of making this brain control gadgets work is to incorporate it to help people. One such group of people are the physically disabled or wounded and maimed people. Therefore, the prosthetic arm which is fully controlled with the power of your thought has been developed.
The idea came from DARPA and it essentially means replacing the current prosthetics with a robotic arm that can be controlled with your brain. The full version is supposed to work as something like a "winter soldier arm" from Avengers, but you don't really get the strength or the arsenal of weapons it has.
Upper Body Exoskeleton
Just last year, the technology that allows you to take control of your upper body took a massive leap forward. Namely, an exoskeleton was created for the upper body of a person with the aim of allowing stroke victims to take back control of the limbs they have lost the use of.
The device is meant to record brain signals and movements into the brain and translate them into actions that are then transferred to the exoskeleton. The final result is enabling the person to once again move their hands in simple motion, something that was unthinkable before.
Developing self-driving vehicles has long been an idea that can provide added safety and ease on the road. But it has been taken further with BrainDriver, a gadget that allows you to take control of your vehicle just by thinking about it.
The idea is that you hook yourself to your car via a headset which in turn reads your EEG signals and then tells the car where and how to drive. You don't need to use your hand nor feet anymore, and let alone try to coordinate between them. You just need to think really hard about the place you want to get to.
Now, this can be useful for work. Imagine that you can do your job a thousand times faster and perform multitasking like a person with six limbs. The Emotiv EPOC device has just that idea. It essentially exists to replace the computer controllers, like the keyboard and the mouse and enables you to control everything by thinking about it.
The device has been best and most successfully used in the gaming industry for now, as it allows you to control and move your character though terrain within the game. It has also been implemented in moving a wheelchair for paraplegics who do not have any use of their bodies.
Necomimi and Shippo
Here is a device which serves more as entertainment and a fun accessory. A Necomimi and Shippo are animal ears and a tail that read your emotions and reaches in a manner an animal’s one would do. In a world where many photo editors include animal faces and accessories, a real-life gadget was bound to happen.
The ears work by reading the EEG signals from your brain and react based on your emotions. So they will change shape depending if you are thinking too hard about something or you are angry or sad. The tail works the same as it wags, twists, twirls, and moves based on the movement of your body and the behavior you are trying to express.
Neuro Turntable Mobile
There have probably been a thousand opportunities when you needed to remember the words of a song but just couldn't. So you just end up humming faintly and wavering off in the end without actually singing the exact words. Neuro Turntable Mobile is there to fix that as it reads the EEG signals and plays the tune for you to sing to.
The gadget is also not designed to bother you during times when you have to concentrate on work, for example. It is there to assist you and start playing the song for you that you are thinking of and giving you the needed words that you can sing to. Great for having a fun day, but not advisable for using it when singing in the shower.
The Orbit Helicopter is a device which allows us to see how one would control a drone with his mind. The idea is similar to a self-driving car, but instead, you are controlling a small flying object.
This is perhaps the most interesting and yet most difficult task to master as one needs to really get a feel how to truly control a flying object by thinking about it and without never experiencing true flying for themselves. It is truly a magnificent idea and one which deserves more credit and development for the future.
Published by Carolin P