In May this year, we reported how researchers at the University of Carolina had created a Brain Machine Interface – a tattoo-like wireless device that attached to the forehead and could therefore allow for a computer to be controlled by the brain itself. Google have taken on a similar approach for their Google Glass, with a “neck tattoo” that contains a tiny wireless microphone that can be used for any mobile device. The hands-free concept will connect to the device via Bluetooth, Infrared or other short-range technology and there are talks that could also have a power supply that uses energy from the user’s body.
According to the patent that was filed on 7th November, the throat microphone should help reduce the amount of street noise many current mobile users deal with. Although throat microphones are currently used in military environments and were originally used in World War II, business analysts are unsure whether something as permanent as a tattoo would be attractive to a mass market. This Motorola device could take years to be approved but it’s interesting to see how mobile communications are planning to evolve.
Just as tablets become the favourite for controlling lives, as well as technology, the University of Carolina come along to throw the largest spanner into the works, the human brain. Researchers in the bioengineering department have created a “Brain Machine Interface” (BMI), which is a tattoo-like, wireless device attached to the forehead. At the moment, the contraption is being applied to the medical industry to monitor premature babies and research labs and hospitals are already planning the arrival of the BMI.
But think about it this way. Professor Coleman also sees potential applications in control and telepathy. Imagine, you walk into your house and the lighting, music and heating is set to your mood without you doing anything. The ease of application to the body and antennae to transmit the signals to other wireless receivers means the possibilities could be endless and many ridiculous. The BMI is solar powered and though we have already seen brain signals used to control robotics via implants, this tattoo form avoids complications with incorrect implantation (check out the video of Brain Gate implants in action below). So make the most of your thoughts now before everyone else can read them and let’s hope our AV systems will no longer need a finger lifted.
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