April 02, 2020

The Future of Interaction with computers The only thing distinguishing us humans from the rest of creatures are our brains blessed with infinite powers. It is a known fact that despite all the technological advancements and increased understanding of human body we have gained in all these years of our civilization, we have not been able to fully understand and use the fullest

potentials of our brains.

It was discovered a long time ago that the mind acts by electric impulses generated as a result of varying concentrations of oppositely charged ions in and outside the cellular membranes. It was then discovered that the electronic impulses can be monitored to inspect and study the working and health of the brain.

This concept is used in a procedure called electroencephalography where the electrodes are connected to the head and the feeble electronic impulses of the brain are amplified and logged into data loggers to look into the working of various parts of brain.

The technique is widely used as a common medical practice to check the effects of injuries, diseases and medications on the brain.

Some scientists always wanted to develop a new way to interact with the machines. We have progressed from dials, buttons and knobs to touchscreen interfaces and voice recognition and voice commanded gadgets but that is just not enough.

What if we have a system where you just have to think about getting something done and your computer or phone executes it for you?

This is what scientists are going to do with electroencephalography. The possibilities are endless. Some of the benefits we can get from this are

  • Control of prosthetic body parts just like we control our biological body parts
  • Commanding the devices and gadgets without actually having to command them
  • Adjusting the settings and personalization of the devices you use according to your mood
How can that be Possible?

Reading through all this text makes any sensible mind think that such stuff is possible only in the science fiction movies but that is actually possible and lab trials have already started.In fact all the major neurology and computer science departments in the major universities have dedicated labs for it.

This is being made possible by

Step 1

Analyzing the brain impulses is the first step and the most difficult one. The researchers have to develop such algorithms as can distinguish among various different types of brain impulses. For example the computers will have to differentiate between the electrical impulses of the brain created when you want to turn on the Air conditioner and the ones that originate to change the wallpaper on your computer. Various neuroscientists and computer scientists are working to make that possible.

Step 2

The next step is simple once the impulses have been differentiated and categorized, they can be assigned to a computer to execute a required function. This step is the easy one and can be done without any new research.

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