Documenting the Coming Singularity

Friday, April 24, 2009

Brain-Computer Interface - Brain Wave of The Future

Washington Post - April 23, 2009, by Joel Garreau

You slip the wireless headset on. It looks like something a telemarketer would wear, except the earpieces are actually sensors, and what looks like a microphone is a brain wave detector. You place its tip against your forehead, above your left eyebrow.

A few feet away is a ping-pong ball in a clear tube called the Force Trainer. The idea is to use your thoughts alone, as recognized by the wand on your forehead, to lift the ball. Your brain's electrical activity is translated into a signal understood by a little computer that controls a fan that blows the ball up the tube. Levitates it. As if by magic. It's mind over matter.

All you have to do is concentrate. On anything, it doesn't matter. The harder you concentrate, the higher the ball goes. A musician says he played a song in his head and focused on a particular chord change. A former high school tennis star focused on his 120-mph serve. One woman brought the image of a candle flame to mind. The ball rose.

Concentrate. Concentrate.

A sound erupts -- first a groan, then a woooo, WOOOO -- like a Halloween ghost.

The ball spins, slowly at first, then faster.

Concentrate, concentrate.

And then the ball rises inside the tube. Up it lifts, two inches, four inches -- a foot!

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