Samsung working on mind-controlled tablets and phones

Samsung has teamed up with university boffins to start testing mind-controlled tablets and smart phones.

Here's some food for thought -- Samsung is exploring making mobiles and tablets you control with your mind, MIT Technology Review reports. Samsung researchers are working with boffins at the University of Texas to find ways to launch an app, select a contact, pick a song from a playlist, and switch a device on and off, all using just your thoughts.

Better hope nothing just pops in there.

At the moment the technology is purely in the testing stage, and is aimed at people with mobility issues. But if Samsung can make it work, we could see something similar hit shop shelves at some point in the future.

Here's how it works: the researchers have been monitoring brain activity when the subject is shown repetitive visual patterns. In the demo, the subject could launch an app and play around within it just by concentrating on an icon that was blinking at a distinctive frequency.

So far, subjects can make a selection every five seconds, with accuracy ranging from 80 to 95 per cent. It'll still take "considerable research" before it's a consumer-ready product, according to Insoo Kim, Samsung's lead researcher. You'll also have to wear one of these rather fetching headsets covered with wires. This could become more like "a cap that people wear all day long", if the EEG contacts are slimmed down and redesigned.

Samsung has already introduced eye-controlled features, with its Smart Stay function keeping the screen lit on the Galaxy S3 and  S4 , as long as you keep looking at it. This is a huge step on from that. 

There are some mind-controlled interfaces already out, including a NeuroSky headset that lets you control toys, and one from Emotiv Systems that reads your brainwaves and facial expression to enhance gaming. But Samsung is by far the most well-known company to start exploring this area.

Would you like to control your tablet using your mind? Will the tech ever see the light of day for us average punters? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.


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