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Samsung testing brain-powered tablets
AFP
April 23, 2013
First Published: 10:28 IST(23/4/2013)
Last Updated: 10:46 IST(23/4/2013)

Tech giant Samsung is looking to ditch not only the keyboard but the touch screen in favor of mind control.


The technology, which Samsung stresses is in its infancy, would allow users to control a computing device with their thoughts alone.

A project at the company's Emerging Technology Lab in partnership with Roozbeh Jafari, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas, the research has already enabled test subjects to launch apps on a tablet, pick a song on a playlist or a contact from an address book and power up or power down the device. However, according to the MIT Technology Review, which first reported on the project, don't expect to see these features rolling out as part of Samsung's 2014 product line-up.

In order to control the tablet with their minds alone, users needs to wear a cap full of EEG monitoring electrodes which only work when wet, meaning that a gel needs to be applied to the head. As Jafari says: "Depending on how many electrodes you have, this can take up to 45 minutes to set up, and the system is uncomfortable."

The ultimate goals of the project are to recognize and isolate the right brainwaves, to develop better sensors that can work without liquid and, ultimately, to offer another form of device interaction, something that could be a true breakthrough for those who, due to disabilities, are unable to operate technology via voice, swipe, touch or gesture.


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