A University of Electro-Communications team of researchers led by professor Kazuo Tanaka has developed a prototype of an electric wheelchair that the user can steer simply by thinking of which direction he or she would like to go.
The wheelchair interprets the user's intended direction by means of a skull cap outfitted with a system of sensors. The sensors read the brain waves, enabling the user to control the wheelchair's direction simply by thinking "move left" or "move right." Tests have shown that the wheelchair has an 80% degree of accuracy in interpreting the user's intentions and moving in the desired direction.
The field of mind-controlled technology has seen a number of significant developments recently, and the promise of wheelchairs, televisions and other devices that can be controlled by people with physical disabilities looms on the horizon.
The developers of the wheelchair also envision applications in computer games and in the field of entertainment.
The idea of using a brain interface in entertainment reminds me of this video excerpt from the "Music for Solo Performer," a sound piece composed by Alvin Lucier in 1964. In this performance, EEG electrodes attached to the performer's scalp pick up brain waves, which are used to control a variety of percussion instruments. The resulting music has a nice, mind-altering effect.
[Source: Nikkei Net]