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Input Devices

Hacking Our Five Senses 232

zdude255 writes "Wired is running an article exploring several studies of giving the human brain 'new input devices.' From seeing with your sense of touch to entirely new senses such as sensing direction intuitively, the human brain seems to be capable of interpreting and using new data on the fly. This offers many applications from pilots being able to sense the plane's orientation to the potential recovery of patients with blindness or ear damage. (which helps balance).'It turns out that the tricky bit isn't the sensing. The world is full of gadgets that detect things humans cannot. The hard part is processing the input. Neuroscientists don't know enough about how the brain interprets data. The science of plugging things directly into the brain -- artificial retinas or cochlear implants -- remains primitive. So here's the solution: Figure out how to change the sensory data you want -- the electromagnetic fields, the ultrasound, the infrared -- into something that the human brain is already wired to accept, like touch or sight.'"

Scientists Demonstrate Thought-Controlled Computer 172

Da Massive writes with a link to ComputerWorld coverage of a unique gadget shown at this past week's CeBit show. The company g.tec was showing off a brain/computer interface (BCI) in one corner of the trade hall. The rig, once placed on your head, detects the brain's voltage fluctuations and can respond appropriately. This requires training, where "the subject responds to commands on a computer screen, thinking 'left' and 'right' when they are instructed to do so ... Another test involves looking at a series of blinking letters, and thinking of a letter when it appears." Once the system is trained, you can think letters at the machine and 'type' via your thoughts. Likewise, by thinking directions you can move objects around onscreen. The article provides some background on the history of g.tec's BCI, and suggests possible uses for the technology in the near future.

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