Recently, the University of California demonstrated a new technology that allowed test subjects to dial a cellphone using their thoughts alone. Wow, it really is the twenty first century, isn’t it? We are entering an exciting new phase in technological developments that all seem to be driven by the explosion of the mobile Internet, smartphones and tablets.
There is exciting new possibilities but they must come with questions, like “what’s the point?”
The future image is that of a new customer being fitted for their new “brain link phone,” which is a chip implanted in the brain (Ick), then linked to the handset with a Bluetooth connection. The University of California’s real testing device used Bluetooth to connect to the phone. Once the link is set, the customer is taught how to focus their thoughts to make and answer calls while performing other tasks using only their thoughts. The implant also converts vocalizations into the speech processor, projecting audio direct to the tympani membrane, which is the part of the ear that turns sound into brain signals.
Ready to Go?
OK, but what if your phone is infected with a virus from that innocuous looking app that you downloaded? Will that piece of code that makes up the virus affect your brain? Will the Russian pornographers be able to project sex images directly on to your eyes? What about selling some visual cortex pop up ads?
Certainly, there are some very legitimate applications for this technology. First, the military would love to have soldiers that can communicate in silence, without reaching for a device. In fact, the military is working on similar systems. The handicapped would be well served by such technology, allowing persons with limited or no use of their hands to make calls without help, such as stroke victims, or quadriplegics. This scenario is far off into the future, and these issues are real, but irrelevant.
So why is this story even circulating? Because everything is mobile and social, and the two words are in the front of every venture capitalists’ mind. The fact that this technological advance was associated with cellphones was enough to push it to the front of the search page. There will be, no doubt, continuing coverage of this and other developments.
Also Read: Features Of Apple iPad Apps
The Future of Tech :
Microsoft’s Kinect gaming console and its new gestures recognition system is a major advance in technology that allows the computer to “see” and recognize certain hand gestures while acting on them, depending on the program. Consider augmented reality and the possibility of heads up displays showing the walking directions to the nearest cafe in front of you, virtually. One can imagine swiping at the air in front of you to send a file or image to a server or close a program. Within the next 5 years, the industry will serve this and much more in the way of innovations. Most of them will have to do with how we physically interact with digital information.
The old paradigm of the keyboard will fade away and be replaced by voice recognition or perhaps direct cerebral translation. There will be problems with this new technology as well. The reason for all of this is that after years of seeming stagnation technology there is a new platform that is stimulating researcher to roll out the old research projects with the hope of funding. None of this is new; the military is working on synthetic telepathy, a technology that will allow soldiers to communicate silently by transmitting thoughts directly to others. Some good advice would be not to go running out looking to buy one, but keep an eye on what comes out, as it will eventually see the light of day, someday.
About the Author:
Jon T. Norwood is the technology writer at Internet Service Providers, a site dedicated to helping users find the right service for them.
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