Samsung is researching how to bring mind control to its mobile devices, hoping to find ways for people with mobility impairments to connect to the world.
Samsung researchers are testing how people can use their thoughts to launch an application, select a contact, select a song from a playlist, or power up or down a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.
As MIT Technlogy Review reports, the research involves a cap studded with EEG-monitoring electrodes and shows how a brain-computer interface could help people with mobility issues complete tasks.
To use EEG-detected brain signals to control a smartphone, the Samsung and UT Dallas researchers monitored known brain activity patterns that occur when people are shown repetitive visual patterns. In their demonstration, the researchers found that people could launch an application and make selections within it by concentrating on an icon that was blinking at a distinctive frequency.
Still, it will take considerable research for a brain-computer interface to become a new way of interacting with smartphones, according to Samsung researchers. The initial focus for the team was to develop signal processing methods that could extract the right information to control a device from weak and noisy EEG signals, and to get those methods to work on a mobile device.