We have always known that our brains are some of the most powerful things on this earth. The problem has always been how to harness all that power. This topic has been the foundation of many a science fiction book or movie, but it looks like the future is finally coming true.
Some researchers based in the University of California in San Diego have made some pretty interesting developments in this regard. The team led by Tzyy-Ping Jung has created a brain-computer interface which actually works! The idea is simple: you think of a phone number, the computer will understand the sequence of numbers, and then it will dial the number for you. How neat is that?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist – or a super smart researcher like Jung – to understand the implications of this technology. Think hands-free dialing. Think about physically challenged people being able to use their mobile phones by merely thinking about the commands. It might take a bit of thinking to understand how it works, though.
Simply put, the brain emits waves of specific frequencies when the person thinks about a specific number. There has to be training before the system can work, however. This is necessary to achieve the proper feedback.
Pretty cool, but I am thinking way ahead. What if you have memory issues and you have difficulty remembering phone numbers? What if you are scatterbrained and you have a hard time focusing your thoughts? 😉
Seriously, though, this is a huge step. While the technology may not be available commercially, we can hope to see more applications in this lifetime.