New technology uses brainwaves for power
Published Sunday, February 13, 2011 4:19PM EST
Many think that touch screen technology is a cool way to control computers, but something cooler has come along—the idea that brainwaves can control things.
A Canadian tech firm is currently making progress on the concept after it debuted at the Vancouver Olympics last year. Visitors to the Ontario pavilion at the Olympics were wired up and able to control the lights on models of the Parliament Buildings and CN Tower using their brain waves.
One of those who tried out the new technology was Liberal MP Bob Rae.
"My critics would say I have no brain waves but this tells me I do," he said. "It was very interesting to see how it works."
The technology works by using a headset-style device that monitors alpha, beta and other brainwaves. It filters out other electrical noise from your brain and then displays the results on a screen.
The company behind the device is InteraXon Computing Devices. Trevor Coleman, the company's chief operating officer, said he's looking forward to blazing a trail in thought-controlled technology.
"It's really exciting to work with companies and individuals and find ways to apply the technology which has not been used before," he said. "We still don't really know what the brain is capable of."
People who tried out the new product were surprised by the power of their brains.
"Being able to control your thoughts or at least your brain waves and to be able to do some applications with it is pretty amazing," said Bharat Rudra.
InteraXon is also developing a videogame called Zen. Players must use their brainwaves to make objects move faster.
At the end of the game a display shows how well or poorly your brain performed.
The company is also working with other Canadian firms on the leading edge of many technologies. Representatives from the companies recently gathered at an event in Ottawa called T-Cap.
"We think the T-Cap projects are very unique and interesting," said President Henri Rothschild. "They are relevant and understandable because they deal with real world problems."
Coleman said he is excited for the future of the technology.
"It's already happening out there. There are products on the market that are brainwave-controlled," he said. "Over the next three to four years I think we will see an explosion in business products and services out there."
So warm up the brainwaves as finger touch technology may become "so yesterday."