Brain interfaces progress toward status as practical alternative to voice

Just watch what you think about co-workers while brain-typing a report

Android, iOS and even Windows Phone 7 are huge improvements in the interface for cell phones.

Researchers at the Univ. Calif, San Diego have gone a step beyond Swype and talk-to-text data input by connecting the kind of electronic headband used to let paraplegics control computers by thinking the commands, type by thinking the letters, or play games by thinking really violent thoughts.

Using an electronic headband mounted in a hat and connected via Bluetooth to a cell phone, test subjects were able to correctly dial a 10-digit number accurately 70 percent to 85 percent of the time, just by thinking it, according to a paper published in the Journal of Neural Engineering by neuroscientist Tzyy-Ping Jung.

Most applications until now have focused on systems for those who can't use keyboards, but the level of success scientists have reached with a range of computer and robotic systems brain/computer interfaces makes it possible that, within a few years, thought-command interfaces will become a practical alternative to voice-recognition controls, with less chance of annoying co-workers who would rather not hear you recite and rewrite your latest Facebook update, blog or Tweet.

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon