Mobile applications are part of our daily routine already. People keep in touch with the friends around the world using Facebook, WhatsApp and similar applications. Have you ever imagined calling your friend by using the power of thought? This is something crazy to imagine, isn’t it? One day may be you will see an app for that too.
Researchers are exploring the possibilities of developing smartphone apps that are capable of controlling the brainwaves as per IBM and Xerox paper which summarizes on Brain Computer Interfaces and its state of art. Mobile applications that are brain driven for dialing numbers, messaging and calling the contacts is not far from reach it seems.
So, how does this work? Today most of the devices rely much on touch screen to trigger the action, but these software listens to the patterns of brain activity. It uses Electroencephalogram to detect the electrical activities of brain, which is actually worn on users head.
Is it feasible?
You might think of the complications involved in using such a software. Brain controlled apps is not that far away as you imagine. Now there are lot of study going on in this field of study. With the development of light weight EEG readers, these software have become much more feasible. EEG readers allows users to communicate phone wirelessly.
The little hold back in making this project is the accuracy problems faced by BCI. Cornell University have already built a Neurophone which facilitates a brain controlled apps to call the contacts with the help of Emotive headset.
Working of Neurophone?
Neurophone chooses the desired contact to make a call by flashing images on the contacts saved on your device. When it finds the signal, this will make the call. However, the ability to detect the right contact depends more on the accuracy of the interface.
Accuracy of systems that detect the signal falls when some physical tasks is being carried out. In order to bring up the accuracy levels to a bit higher, researchers put forth suggestions that control brain signals with the help of head and eye tracking. The user’s choice can be refined further from the list of contacts, say for example restricting to the most dialed contacts.
Users may not get the comprehensive answer for how it is being done until the complete simulation is worked out. Using BCI for mobile can become really useful in developing applications in all sectors. These significant developments in the field neurology is a major outbreak, it will help to increase the computational power of mobile devices and the cloud storage. BCI based mobile brain controlled apps paves the way to the future and mobile will even get smarter than you believe.
The paper by IBM and Xerox concludes by saying in an optimistic tone: “The use of BCI for mobile holds promise, as it would be useful for developing both assistive and general entertainment technology for the evolving mobile user”.