Why bother with passwords when you can have passthoughts?

Some Berkeley researchers think they can get you to emit your password through your thoughts. Well, we're always thinking "12345," aren't we?

Makes Google Glass look like Tom Ford. TechCrunch Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Would you choose to save your fingers by wearing cat ears on your head?

I am not imbibing alcoholized catnip. I am merely marveling at the ideas that emerge from the minds of clever cats at Berkeley.

One of these ideas uses a technology called Neurosky. Those who find Google Glass to be highly inventive -- but maybe not so stylish -- will look at the Neurosky headsets and wonder just how soon after putting them on they will be intercepted by people in long, white coats.

There is a probe touching your forehead, resembling the same motion you sometimes make with your finger when you're feeling particularly stupid.

Still, these fine Berkeley minds believe that once you buy one of these relatively cheap pieces of headgear ($199), you'll be able to avoid ever having to type a password.

Yes, your favorite e-mail address or entertainment Web site will open with a mere passthought.

As The Verge reports, such an astonishingly subtle action can be achieved with an off-the-shelf electroencephalogram (EEG).


The Neurosky Mindset is one such device and its error rate in passing along passthoughts was allegedly 1 percent.

I do wonder, though, whether these results might be affected by mood. I know that when I am in a certain mood of, say, despair, my thoughts wander along a path that often gets me lost before night fall.

As you can see from the TechCrunch video I have embedded, this technology can be used for all kinds of useful pursuits, such as twitching cat ears perched on one's head.

Surely the two tasks can be combined.

Please imagine how beautiful it would be if you were sitting at work, cat ears on your head, and they twitched every time you entered a password.

If there's anything technology has taught us, it's that the mundane must be mixed with the entertaining to take hold.

I know so many people -- at least in the tech world -- who would dearly love to wear cat ears all day while performing life-affirming tasks, such as designing new apps to make you buy more things more often.

 

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