The last year has seen plenty of newsworthy blips about mind reading video game controllers and officially licensed playsets designed to enhance your telekinetic abilities. But you have to think that eventually, someone is going to put brain-to-computer technology to work to… I don’t know. Do some good? Solve a problem?
Well, it appears scientists at the University of South Florida have stumbled upon a way to use this burgeoning technology in a way that doesn’t just appeal to the nerdiest 1% of the population. They’ve ingeniously combined an electroencephalograph (EEG) helmet that monitors and transmits brain waves with a wheelchair mounted robotic arm, resulting in a mechanical limb that responds to it’s users thoughts.
Granted, it doesn’t respond to them gracefully at the moment, but it’s a hell of a first step towards some really great work. From Discover:
The device could give people with amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or full body paralysis the ability to perform simple day to day functions that would otherwise be impossible.
Which is all well and good, but let’s not take our eyes off the ultimate goal of this technology – a video game I can play with my brain, leaving my hands free for snacking and consuming Red Bulls. Simultaneously.