Scientists Develop Brain-Computer Interface for Cellphones
Some San Diego researchers developed a system that allows users to dial a phone number on a cellphone using only their thoughts. The method is surprisingly accurate and would be a huge advantage for people with disabilities or anyone who needs a more hands-free experience or who regularly performs tasks that require a high degree of mental focus.
The technology, which was developed by University of California, San Diego neuroscience researcher Tzyy-Ping Jung and colleagues, tracks electrical activity in the brain using a headband of electrodes and a Bluetoothdevice. Users of the system were shown digits from zero to nine flashing at slightly different speeds on a computer screen; the frequency of each digit was detected by the electrodes, allowing the Bluetooth device to “know” which numbers to dial.
In various trials, subjects with varying degrees of training showed between 70% and 85% accuracy when attempting to dial a 10-digit phone number.
Computer-brain interfaces have been around for a while; this is the first instance we’ve seen of a brain interface being applied to a mobile phone. Being able to make brain interfaces smaller, faster and cheaper might go a long way toward these novel technologies becoming more practical for everyday use for a mass audience.
personally that would drive me nuts, especially with ADD. Already difficult to get the phone to react correctly with fingers.