Samsung’s next big thing could be very big indeed if its engineers succeed in creating brain-controlled tablets. Technology Review reports that Samsung’s Emerging Technology Lab has teamed up with University of Texas electrical engineering professor Roozbeh Jafari to research “how to bring mind control to its mobile devices with the hope of developing ways for people with mobility impairments to connect to the world.”
Jafari and the Samsung researchers aren’t anywhere close to developing a marketable prototype yet, of course, and Technology Review notes that their current plans for a mind-controlled tablet involve “a cap studded with EEG-monitoring electrodes” that monitors “well-known brain activity patterns that occur when people are shown repetitive visual patterns.” In the demonstration Technology Review watched, researchers were able to open apps on their tablets simply by concentrating on icons that were “blinking at a distinctive frequency.”
Jafari also says that he’s working on a way to make EEG sensors much more convenient than current models that have wet contact electrodes and are uncomfortable to use. If he succeeds in making “dry” EEG sensors, then he envisions making a tablet that can be controlled by a “cap that people wear all day long” and that doesn’t require an extensive setup.