Mind-controlled tablets are real; no, you can't have one yet

Using a commercially available brainwave-sensing headset.

In recent of years, touch control technology has completely changed the way we interact with our electronics. And you can't forget about voice-command systems and motion-based controllers like the Leap Motion and Kinect. Samsung, along with researchers at the University of Texas, are onto what could be the next step forward—controlling a tablet with our minds.

A mind control system isn’t just a thought, either—the researchers are already experimenting with an EEG cap that allows patients to select apps on a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. In addition, an MIT Technology Review video shows how you can choose to play and pause music, return to menus, and use the tablet to communicate via prerecorded messages—all with mind control. Sorcery!

Currently, the system can correctly recognize thoughts about 80 to 95 percent of the time. Despite its fairly good accuracy, the system is still painfully slow, allowing you to only make a selection every five seconds. With that in mind, it might be a while before we get to controlling computers as fast as we blink.

Mind-controlled electronics aren't just novelty devices: The technology could make it easier for disabled users to interact with devices that regularly require precise touch controls. And it may be a better option than voice recognition software that only works part of the time.

For now, the technology is being developed for the disabled who really need it. There is no indication of if or when this technology might be ready for mainstream use.

Be sure to check out MIT’s Technology Review for the full story on Samsung’s mind control tablet.

[MIT Technology Review via Ubergizmo / Photo: .dh on Flickr (CC by 2.0)]

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