…to make things move with your mind.

Strange headset that looks like a black plastic squid

Granted, we may not be able to lift a spaceship out of a swamp like Yoda does in The Empire Strikes Back, but it is possible to steer a model car, drive a wheelchair and control a robotic exoskeleton with just your thoughts.

The first thing is to clear your mind…to think of nothing,” says Ed Jellard; a young man with the quirky title of senior inventor.

We are standing in a testing room at IBM’s Emerging Technologies lab in Winchester, England.

On my head is a strange headset that looks like a black plastic squid. Its 14 tendrils, each capped with a moistened electrode, are supposed to detect specific brain signals.

In front of us is a computer screen, displaying an image of a floating cube.

As I think about pushing it, the cube responds by drifting into the distance.

Admittedly, the system needed a fair bit of pre-training to achieve this single task. But it has, nonetheless, learned to associate a specific thought pattern with a particular movement.

The headset, which was developed by Australian company Emotiv for the games industry, has been around for some time. But it is only now that companies such as IBM are beginning to harness the wealth of data that it can provide.

Using software developed in-house, researchers have linked the Emotiv to devices such as a model car, a light switch and a television.

Source: BBC News Read more

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