The latest major leap in technology revolves around the oldest known model of computer in existence. So forget wireless interfaces as you know them, because the future is set to be powered by our brains.
It sounds far-fetched, insane even. And whilst we have been spending an awful lot of time in the office- working late into the night whilst much of the country caught those evening rays- this is no grand illusion brought on by stress. More so, it has been on the cards for decades already, with research beginning back in the 1970s.
The theory behind this is very simple for a non-scientifically-minded-PR to loosely explain. Electrical activity occurs whenever the mind is switched on (which is all the time), and this can be translated by machines and turned into direct instructions. Currently, the uses could be anything from piloting a robot helicopter (with the University of Minnesota successfully completing the first test flight earlier this year) to writing a paragraph on Microsoft Word.
In both instances the achievements can only be described as startlingly impressive. The medical possibilities of a person being able to communicate whilst their body is in paralysis are enormous, meanwhile the idea of being able to think yourself a ride home (airborne or not) is undeniably pretty cool. Needless to say, though, there are less grandiose plans being hatched elsewhere too.
Samsung, for example, recently announced development of a tablet that requires the user to wear an EEG monitoring cap to man the device with their mind alone. Although still very (very) much in its infancy, the fact a media savvy multi-national has openly confirmed work in this field speaks volumes about overall confidence in the technology.
Avid gamers will have seen this coming a mile off. Even in 2010, Forbes reported on Evan Grant’s use of Emotiv’s brain-computer-interface after he stunned audiences by making a graphic of an orange ball disappear on screen without issuing voice or physical commands. And 12 months later PSFK ran an article regarding versions of World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, optimised to read cranial activity (but, thankfully, not thoughts, yet).
Some would have called it witchcraft a few centuries ago, but nowadays there’s an event dedicated to such sorcery, the NeuroGaming Conference and Expo (held in San Francisco- where else?) Rather than simply another next generation device then, brain powered technology is a sign of things to come and a bona-fide game changer for many disciplines, industries and professions. All of which means the opportunities within advertising, PR and marketing will be huge, once we get a little further down the line.