Future In Mobile Device Technology: Mind-Control

Controling Mobile DevicesSamsung formed a partnership with the University of Texas to discover a wide range of applications for the brain-computer interface technology, which will offer several new ways to communicate with our mobile devices using our brain. With the help of electroencephalography, mobile devices will have the ability to monitor brainwaves and once the signal processing quality is upgraded, users will have the option to turn on their smartphones or tablets, open applications, select songs from a chosen playlist, all by using mind-control. Zintro experts discuss how this new technology will facilitate our interaction with mobile devices.

As Juan Carlos Rojas, an expert in software architecture points out, non-invasive brain-computer interfaces have been researched since the 1970s, providing mixed results. “The objective is to measure the shape of the brain waves, and more importantly, find where in the brain they are coming from. This is challenging to do outside of the skull, as the waves diffract and attenuate. A sensor array embedded in a cap will have calibration issues, since you cannot guarantee that it will be worn the same way every time. Despite the signal quality challenges, we certainly get some signals that we can attempt to use,” he explains. “A second challenge in brain-computer interfaces is user training. Most previous research has been focused on interfaces for disabled persons, which justifies learning how to control the devices with your mind. However, in a consumer market, users are not going to bother with the technology unless it is seamless.” Rojas also mentions the possibility of using artificial intelligence on the mobile device to recognize the wave patterns, which are naturally present while we perform the actions with our hands. “It would be similar to how speech recognition technology was initially deployed, but it would require training sessions. The main reason why I don’t think this technology will have much market appeal is that it doesn’t solve any real problem. People can already open their applications at the touch of a finger or via voice recognition if they prefer,” adds Rojas. “It is hard to imagine why people would bother wearing a cap and teach themselves or the device how to control it, just to open their apps a different way. This seems to be a case of a solution in search of a problem.”

Electrical engineer, Krishna Burli compares signal processing to winking as the entire digital world consists of binary codes. “We are graduating from password, to finger prints, to iris, to an electroencephalography cap and it may come to the saying ‘think of it and it will be available through your device.’ The advantage is the technological ease to handle things at the speed of thinking and acting,” he notes. “Disadvantages are the ill conceived global reach and selfish ends destroying the entire human aspects.” On the other hand, Burli still believes that the brain-computer interface technology could easily go against a person’s will, while it allows you to control your smartphone or tablet computer with your brain. “Is it possible somehow, to give a warning with animated picturesque images of what may happen in case we do something, so that a person can, for a moment think before he acts on his brain wave without moderation? Then it would be far better,” he adds. “Things should not go beyond the control of human good, innocence, excellence or nature’s choice as any human innovation cannot beat the nature’s creation of human brain itself.”

By Idil Kan

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