The way we control machines has changed dramatically over time. We have gone a long way from manual handles, knobs, strings and buttons to a great invention like the mind control head sets, seen in sci-fi movies only not long ago. Well, it is no longer science fiction. The possibility to control things with the power of your thought is yet another scientific achievement that will become more and more available, until it becomes part of our daily lives.
Think of it and it’s done. Just like that. Futuristic ideas from the sci-fi literature suggest that you will only have to “think” what you want and it will be instantly obeyed by machines that “read” your commands. It may seem abstract and distant, but this technology is already here and is becoming reality.
How it works?
The human brain. A small “universe”, confined within your skull. Some believers would call it God’s greatest invention, scientists would call it nature’s greatest achievement. This is our most complicated organ and the most complex thing in the nature so far. Modern scientists are on a quest of understanding how this “bio-computer” neural network works. Despite that a lot have been discovered, they are at a relatively early stage of understanding and knowing everything about the brain.
Neuroscience is going hand by hand with computer systems. Transmitting the brain signals to a machine, thus controlling the latter opens up a world of possibilities. A lot of companies have presented their prototypes of “mind-reading” headsets. Basically, what most of them currently do is detect you brain waves’ frequency. Variations in those frequencies might be cause by changing mood, thoughts, emotions and many more.
By interpreting such brain wave fluctuations the headsets, earlier used in hospitals only (EEG), can make the connection to a machine, which could be put entirely under the control of the brain. A true remote control is still not possible, though. However, a lot has been achieved in the recent years. People can now play simple games by focusing their attention and thought ti a single point on the screen and allowing the device to translate simple commands.
Controlling machines with a though is just a small fragment of what will this neurotechnology be capable of. Monitoring brain’s activity and health status is another positive application of such devices. Pre-emptive treatment of our mental health is the panacea to good and long life. Some researchers have discovered that those headsets could influence your mind, if it is in a state of disorder.
Healing psychological trauma would be a great feat, but we must consider that it can and will be used for bad purposes. Tampering with someone’s brains against his or hers will would be an awful crime. So this is another thing scientists must keep in mind before going too far with mind-reading technologies.
Exploring the brain could also lead us to “mimic” this organ’s functionality and structure.This way we can create new types of computers based on its cortex structure. Implementing this natural design on artificial copies would lead us to creating smarter and almost perfect computers. Playing God on a master level.
There’s almost no limit of how will this go in the next decades. We are entering an exciting era, where this design will be inevitably improved further and further. Activities like turning your lights on and off, setting the oven’s temperature, driving your car and many more, only by the use of your brain, would be possible very soon, if the progress continues with that rate. For instance controlling helicopters with such devices is already done. We can live this part of science fiction writers’ imagination, where they could only dream of such “magical” gadgets.
Read more about this great invention on Cnet’s article.