Scientists are busy looking for ways to connect gadgets to your brain. You may not believe this but they have already managed to connect the Google Nexus device to a patient’s brain and allowed her to control it using brain signals.
Being able to move things without moving a finger (yes, it’s the closest you can get to being a Jedi!) is a dream come true for humans. Imagine a scenario when you walk into your house, switch on your television with the blink of an eye and command the coffee machine to get an espresso ready. How cool is that?
Technology is slowly evolving from being a niche idea to a consumer product. You can actually buy these headsets for as less as $500 and start controlling your computers, smartphones and gadgets at home using brain signals. You can even program it to do specific tasks when you think of it.
Emotiv Headset – The Most Popular of Them All
Emotiv is a successful commercial venture which has been making brain-controlled headsets for the past few years. Emotiv EPOC is one of their products which allows you to easily control your computer, your character inside a virtual reality game and even make a wheelchair move, which is a boon for physically challenged individuals.
The Emotiv headset is even capable of understanding your physical movements like when you smile, frown or move your head so as to send appropriate signals to the gadget you are controlling.
Muse – A Startup Idea
Muse was a startup idea which was more intuitive, compact in size and easier to use than the Emotiv Headset. The headset makes use of Bluetooth connectivity and is equipped with electro encephalography sensors allowing you to send your brain waves to control your computer. The idea didn’t take off well but it did prove that you can actually control hardware with your brain but not look dorky when doing it.
While most average people imagine sci-fi movies, brain-controlled prosthetic arms and legs can change the life of an individual. The Alliance of Advanced Biomedical Engineering is already on it and has created limbs that respond to your brain commands. Scientists have been using bionic legs to walk through the snow in Iceland. They believe by integrating additional sensors, tactical feedback and headsets to detect brain activities, they might be able to create seamless prosthetic hardware which can automatically adjust to the person’s speed, the terrain and respond quickly.
The Future of Brain-Controlled Hardware and Virtual Reality
The entire world of technology is now geared towards virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. While the focus is on making people interact with a virtual world and make it feel real, the logical step would be to start capturing brain sensors and provide an immersive experience like no other.
Headsets capable of understanding what you think will make it easier to control characters inside a VR game or browse through study materials without lifting a finger. Instead of trying to interpret every brain signal, experts are working towards a select pattern of brain waves. It will allow physically challenged people to move and do tasks simply by thinking about it. Everyone else can enjoy the convenience of being able to send commands to their hardware while doing other actions with their hands, which are free!
A bright future lies ahead for brain-controlled hardware especially with VR booming at such rapid pace. With improving computing power, researchers will soon be able to create headsets that can sense your brain signals and easily send commands to a wide range of hardware giving you complete freedom from using your limbs.
Looking for a new gadget? How about a Drone? You know you want one!