Today I saw two interesting stories dealing with computers and the brain. The first described a patent that Microsoft had applied for outlining a device that would measure brain waves while a subject tried out the company’s interfaces. The second story described a device for controlling a Second Life avatar using brainwaves. See a video of it in action below:
I think both are examples of rudimentary methods for bridging the gap between the physical world of atoms and the digital world of data. While there may be great uses for this kind of technology—who doesn’t want Microsoft to make better interfaces? who wants to use their hands to move a Second Life avatar?—both also suggest the ways that this kind of data can be mined for ends that nobody—particularly the user—can foresee. It will be fascinating to see how the public reacts to this technology.
via Boing Boing and Boing Boing
Related: Brain-to-machine algorithm