After chatting with Tricia about her segment yesterday about the stroke victim controling the robot arm with her brain, I engaged in a bit of “undirected work-related research” and watched this 2010 TED Talk by Tan Le, the co-founder and president of Emotiv Lifescience, about her company’s commercially available mind reader.
That headset and its tricks are totally available to the general public. It’s not the same as plugging a sensor into your skull, but for $300 you’re in the game. They sell apps and developer materials as well.
Given the strides (and resultant opportunities) being made in translating thoughts and mental images, it’s not hard to imagine brain controler lessons replacing, say, penmanship lessons in elementary schools (or earlier!) at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Tangentially, if you don’t mind, I was interested in what Le mentioned about the challenge of cortical folding, and their success at developing an algorythm that unfolds the cortext to better trace the brain signals. I remember reading not too long ago about researchers working with the mathematics of crumpled balls of paper.
At the time I thought, wow, there’s a purely academic pursuit if ever there was one. And now here I am eating my words as uncrumpling a crumpled thing is the key to amazing and amazingly practical new technology.