As privacy continues to evaporate into the future, mind-reading applications show no sign of drying up. In fact, for my forecast of days to come, I predict a mind-reading monsoon.
Just recently we told you how tech companies are peeping through the windows of your soul. Well, you can close the curtains on your soul windows, because this next device is focusing on the main line: your brain.
A team of California mad scientists have created the world's first portable brain scanner and soon it may be able to read your mind. Thankfully, its developers are more interested in facilitating medical breakthroughs than gleaning your Internet habits.
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"This is very exciting for us because it allows us to have a window into the brain. We're building technology that will allow humanity to have access to the human brain for the first time," project leader Phillip Low told KDTV in San Diego.
Called the iBrain, the device was developed by Sand Diego-based company NueroVigil. It fits comfortably over one's head and features three electrodes. Unfortunately it looks like the person donning it is wearing a black jockstrap on their noggin.
But its function is no joke. iBrain measures the distinct neurological patterns of specific thought processes. Low used a special algorithm to achieve this and believes those unique brain wave patterns can be mapped out.
Last summer Low flew to Cambridge, England to test the devices on cosmic gift to us all, Stephen Hawking. The famed physicist agreed to wear iBrain and was asked think very hard about doing various tasks while his brain waves were monitored.
"We'd like to find a way to bypass his body, pretty much hack his brain," Low said.
While deciphering Hawking's hive of genius certainly deserves top billing, iBrain could also have major implications on customized medicine.
"Pharmaceutical companies can now fine-tune the drugs for individuals," Low said. "This is the first step to personalized medicine."
Credit: Misha Gravenor / TechnologyReview.com