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Controlling a Computer With Your Mind

BCI Demonstration

Scientists have been experimenting with technology designed to translate thoughts into action for years – and BCI (Brain Computer Interface) may be the first step in making that dream a reality.

During the four-day European Research and Innovation Exhibition in Paris, American Scientist Peter Bruenner demonstrated the technology by composing messages on a laptop with the power of his mind. They also spoke of a 48 year old neurologist that uses BCI to communicate after being stricken with “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — an invariably fatal degenerative disease that attacks nerve cells.” According to, the man “writes grant proposals, sends e-mails and can use the keyboard of a computer at home.”

Wadsworth BCI works by detecting peaks in mental activity that correspond to an action. For example, as the user concentrates on a letter in a message, the computer randomly highlights characters on a virtual keyboard. The computer then determines the letter the user is looking at based on these peaks.

Naturally, this technology has enormous potential for those suffering from conditions that make communication difficult or impossible – and the applications for the enormously lazy are nothing to be scoffed at either.

Posted by Sean


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