Long the subject of conspiracies and far-out theories about how everything unexplained may be explained, mind control is not as futuristic as we might think. In fact, it’s the subject of serious study and has been for some time.
Well, it is. Of course, we aren’t talking about Manchurian Candidates here, we’re talking about mind-controlled technology. One of the most cutting edge and potentially far-reaching areas of research is in melding the mind with technological gadgets and control modules in order to allow people to control things like computers, iPods, and more by using only their minds.
The benefits of such technology are obvious. Quadriplegics and others with physical dexterity problems would suddenly be able to do things that were nearly impossible before. Imagine Stephen Hawking speaking not with a joystick and glorified word processor as he does now, but by merely thinking the words and having the computer speak them just as we think the words and have our throats and mouths articulate them for us.
The idea seems fantastic, but is being done and showing a lot of progress. The way it works is to “read” the mind via the electrical impulses the brain gives off as its neurons interact. Using sophisticated instruments to measure those reactions externally (without inserting probes or devices into the brain), researchers are figuring out how to interpret those impulses through better and ever-evolving software.
Currently, the technology is being used to allow a young woman immobilized by a car accident to begin communicating again. A comatose young man in the midwest is now communicating with his family despite being unable to move his body. He’d been trapped inside that coma without meaningful communication for almost a decade and now, through this technology, he is learning to converse with friends and family again.
Imagine the further implications on the open market. Cell phones that don’t require you to touch anything to interact, cars that don’t need you to remove your hands from the wheel to tune the radio or change the air conditioning settings, computers that don’t require keyboards anymore. It’s fascinating and all now within realistic reach.