Think of a word and it will appear on the screen before you. Your thoughts can move objects in a virtual world almost like the ‘force’ of the Star Wars movies.
And this force — brain-computer interface — has made its way to India for the first time at the technology festival of the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay (IIT-B). Developed by the French National Institute for Computer Science and Control, the technology allows you to give commands to a computer or machine just through thought.
“The basic technology is that the brain sends out electrical signals when it plans some actions. We have made a gadget that senses these signals and translates them into signals understood by a computer. So, even if you just think of an action programmed in the computer, the computer will sense it and perform the action,” said Nicolas Poussielgue, one of the developers.
The demonstration at IIT-B allows you to lift a virtual spaceship in a computer game merely thinking about it. But in what ways will this technology be useful? “It will be really helpful for people with paralysis, who by their power of the minds can convey their message to the people.
Also, research is being done on how it can help treat people with neurological problems,” added Poussielgue. All the user has to do is simply put on an electroencephalography cap (that measures brain activity) fitted with electrodes linked to a device that allows the brain to communicate with a computer.
“Everyone is queuing up to understand the technology to India. Just the concept of controlling things with your thoughts is intriguing,” said Ronnie Phillip, Techfest coordinator.