According to a recent article published on MIT Technology Review Samsung is actively doing research on brainwave technology to find an alternative way of interaction with mobile devices. The South Korean company aims to help people with mobility impairments to connect to the world. The ultimate goal of the project is to broaden the ways in which all people can interact with devices.
Samsung and UT Dallas researchers monitored well-known brain activity patterns that occur when people are shown repetitive visual patterns. In their demonstration, the researchers found that people could launch an application, select a song fro ma playlist, and make selections within it by concentrating on a blinking icon. They also managed to power up or down a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.
The research is in early-stage, Samsung has no immediate plans to offer a brain-controlled device. Finding new ways to interact with mobile devices has driven the project, says Insoo Kim, Samsung’s lead researcher. “Several years ago, a small keypad was the only input modality to control the phone, but nowadays the user can use voice, touch, gesture, and eye movement to control and interact with mobile devices,” says Kim. “Adding more input modalities will provide us with more convenient and richer ways of interacting with mobile devices.”
The research is addressing another challenge: developing more convenient EEG sensors. Classic EEG systems have gel or wet contact electrodes, which means a bit of liquid material has to come between a person’s scalp and the sensor. “Depending on how many electrodes you have, this can take up to 45 minutes to set up, and the system is uncomfortable,” says Roozbeh Jafari, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas, Dallas. He develops dry sensors that do not require a liquid bridge and take about 10 seconds to set up.
The first to break the news that Samsung had filed for a patent relating to technology surrounding a brain computer interface was Patent Bolt back in November 2012. The patent described neural activity being tracked on a neural activity detecting device. Preferably, the neural activity tracked includes EEG, EOG, and EMG activity.” The idea is tap into concentration patterns that would be able to respond to the users mental commands to “open file”, “close file”, “copy file”, “clicking”, “paste”, “delete”, “space”, or “inputting characteristics.”
To learn more about Samsung’s brainwave research check out the full story on Technology Review.