Sorry, My Brain Accidentally Called You
from the and-you-thought-pocket-dialing-was-a-problem? dept
If you thought that accidental “pocket dialing” by your phone was a problem, just wait until everyone’s hooked up to allow their brain to directly dial a phone. For years we’ve been hearing about various experiments with thought-controlled computers, and the latest is an experiment with the ability to dial phones using your brain. The focus is on helping severely disabled people use a phone, but there are obviously plenty of applications for everyone else as well:
For example, it could create the ultimate hands-free experience for cell-phone users, or be used to detect when drivers or air-traffic controllers are getting drowsy by sensing lapses in concentration.
Not surprisingly, it takes some practice, and some people are better at it than others. In fact, the main researcher behind this notes that he can only reach 85% accuracy, while others were able to get to practically 100% accuracy.
There have been other, similar, experiments that we’ve heard about in the past, so it’s not clear how different this particular experiment is compared to some others. However, the article does quote one researcher who says that he’s not convinced this methodology really works with mobile phones, because it involves showing numbers on a screen, with each number flashing at a slightly different frequency. It’s that flashing frequency that triggers the brain sensor to dial the right number. But… those flashing numbers and frequency inputs really only work off of a large screen, rather than a small mobile phone screen.
That said, if we ever really do reach the point where we have working retinal displays, you could certainly see how this might work, where you’d flash up the number pad on your eyeball, and then be able to dial directly with your brain. I’d sign up for that.