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Science Technology

Samsung Researching How To Let You Control Your Phone With Your Brain 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-ma-no-hands dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Samsung is testing a way to control your mobile device with your brainwaves. If that project succeeds, it would truly be a case of science fiction brought to real life. According to MIT Technology Review, Samsung's Emerging Technology Lab is collaborating with Roozbeh Jafari, assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas, Dallas, on the early-stage research. That research involves placing a cap 'studded with EEG-monitoring electrodes' atop the head of a convenient subject, who then concentrates on an onscreen icon blinking at a particular rate. Concentrate hard enough, and the subject can launch and interact with applications. However, Samsung also indicated that mind-controlled mobile devices are quite a ways off, if they ever appear in a market-ready form at all. 'Several years ago, a small keypad was the only input modality to control the phone, but nowadays the user can use voice, touch, gesture, and eye movement to control and interact with mobile devices,' Insoo Kim, Samsung's lead researcher, told the Review. 'Adding more input modalities will provide us with more convenient and richer ways of interacting with mobile devices.' In any case, it's a crazy concept, the sort of thing Philip K. Dick might have written up as a short story; but it's one evidently grounded in reality."
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Samsung Researching How To Let You Control Your Phone With Your Brain

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  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:46PM (#43518327)
    Using the amazing "fingers" brain interface device.
    • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmMENCKENail.com minus author> on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:54PM (#43518417)

      Using the amazing "fingers" brain interface device.

      Why don't they put their heads together and get the voice-activated commands working properly. I have not yet been able to get my new Android phone to follow any of my voice commands. It does something, but never what I ask for

      Every time I see this "brain waive interface" promise, I wonder who's going to fix the voice-activated commands... Not as exciting, but perhaps more achievable (in short term).

      • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:58PM (#43518469)

        brain waive interface

        waive /wv/
        Verb
        Refrain from insisting on or using (a right or claim): "waive all rights to the money".
        Refrain from applying or enforcing (a rule, restriction, or fee): "her tuition fees would be waived".
        Synonyms
        relinquish - renounce - abdicate - give up - forgo

        So, a brain waive interface would be a television.

        • by Ioldanach (88584)

          brain waive interface

          waive /wv/ Verb Refrain from insisting on or using (a right or claim): "waive all rights to the money". Refrain from applying or enforcing (a rule, restriction, or fee): "her tuition fees would be waived". Synonyms relinquish - renounce - abdicate - give up - forgo

          So, a brain waive interface would be a television.

          Maybe the OP was using the voice to text input method, which isn't exactly stellar for transcription, either.

        • No, Microsoft has an exclusive patent on Brain Waives, they're using it in Windows Phone 8.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          Actually, I think that interface does exist on phones, as well. I see lots of people using it in their car when they talk and text while swerving randomly between lanes on the highway every day.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Voice is a clumsy interface between humans, I am not sure why I would ever want to have to deal with that hassle with a machine.

        • Voice is a clumsy interface between humans, I am not sure why I would ever want to have to deal with that hassle with a machine.

          Recognizing speech is hard. Recognizing thoughts may turn out to be easier. The researchers in TFA are applying electrodes to the outside of the head, but implants work far better. In the future we will have an glucose powered implant the size of a rice grain directly in our brain. Neurons will attach directly and we will learn to control those neurons to send a receive messages. You will be able to send and receive text messages just by thinking about them. You can even do it in a movie theater witho

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            I hope if we get that tech we can install a power port elsewhere as well. Solving the finding a charger for our gadgets problem and diabetes at the same time.

          • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

            You can even do it in a movie theater without bothering anyone.

            I assure you, if done in a movie theater, it will be annoying. doesn't even matter the implementation. 100% guaranteed. speaking of movies, did anybody else see oblivion this weekend? it was teh bombz!

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Why don't they put their heads together and get the voice-activated commands working properly. I have not yet been able to get my new Android phone to follow any of my voice commands. It does something, but never what I ask for

        Ah, so when Samsung copied Siri to make S-Voice, they copied it exactly? Down to the uselessness of it?

      • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

        Why don't they put their heads together and get the voice-activated commands working properly. I have not yet been able to get my new Android phone to follow any of my voice commands. It does something, but never what I ask for

        Siri works well for me. I can get maps, movie tickets, transcribe emails and SMS... but that's iOS-only so I'm not sure what would work for you :(

    • by Seumas (6865) on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:24PM (#43518719)

      Interesting, because most people I have encountered who are particularly pre-occupied with their phone don't seem to actually possess a brain, to begin with.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:37PM (#43518825)
      Or penis.

      Dick might have written up as a short story; but it's one evidently grounded in reality.

    • I thought phones controlled people's brains?

  • Apple has already patented the brain as well as anything samsung can possibly think of.

    • by MTO_B. (814477)

      Apple has already patented the brain as well as anything samsung can possibly think of.

      No,you're wrong. Apple has patented cornered brainwaves.

  • by no-body (127863) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:48PM (#43518341)
    The other way....
  • by BurningTyger (626316) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:48PM (#43518349)

    It's been done by Emotiv http://www.emotiv.com/ [emotiv.com] back in 2007, and various other companies. What is new here?
    Feels like another attempt by Samsung to do viral marketing just by associating itself to something hip.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I think Apple has the patent on viral marketing as well don't they? Call the Lawyers!

    • It's been done by Emotiv http://www.emotiv.com/ [emotiv.com] back in 2007, and various other companies. What is new here?

      Advertising tie-in, doy.

      Samsung really seems to be going for the brass ring [slashdot.org] when it comes to in-home surveillance technology...

      • by anagama (611277)

        You could get a phantoscopic system planted directly on your retinas...You could even get telaesthetics patched into your spinal column at key vertebrae. But this was said to have its drawbacks: some concern about long term nerve damage, plus it was rumored that hackers for big media companies had figured out a way to get through the defenses that were built into such systems, and run junk advertisements in your peripheral vision (or even spang in the fucking middle) all the time -- even when your eyes were

    • by Ultra64 (318705)

      "What is new here?"

      Maybe this new thing will actually work?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah. I used Emotiv's products (and others) during a research I performed for my MSc on gaming with brain-computer interfaces. The placing of electrodes is annoying as heck, hard to do right as a novice and the results are poor.

      If they can solve this, more power to them. But I don't think they'll be able to do that just yet.

    • by narcc (412956)

      It's been done by Emotiv [...] and various other companies.

      And thousands of ee students and hobbyists!

      Well, maybe not with the "smartphone" part, but that's not the interesting bit, is it?

      Using a cheap eeg as an input device is not even a little bit new. It's certainly not news for nerds.

  • While Apple researches which shade of shiny white will improve user experience...

  • by eln (21727) on Monday April 22, 2013 @03:50PM (#43518369) Homepage
    Sure, first you can control the cell phone with your brain, then the cell phone can control your brain, and before you know it the Cybermen are invading.
  • Some early customer focus groups have described the new UI as 'dubiously pocket friendly' [wikimedia.org] and used such hurtful phrases as 'ugly' and 'Why does my phone need a team of medical technicians following me around?'.

    A friendly reminder that Black and Decker makes the other major tool for improving the precision and SNR of brain activity data has so far been enough to shut them up.

  • I just finished The Divine Invasion and if that is evidence of his writing, I won't be reading any more of his stuff.

    Sure, I got where he was going, but it was a trudge, a very long trudge, to get to the end of such a short work.

    I realize what I like others may not like and vice versa, but I can't see how other than his thought process can be held up as a master of sci-fi writing.

  • Prior Art (Score:5, Funny)

    by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:01PM (#43518505) Homepage Journal

    Apple has already trademarked "Think Different" and the use of a "Reality Distortion Field" for a device to control the thought processes of it's user. As you can see, this "innovation" by Samsung is just repurposing the real innovation previously done by Apple.

    • Apple works somewhat differently to what is proposed here. With Apple you don't control the phone to perform an action, you bend reality into one where the phone has performed the action.

      Samsung is trying to do it the hard way.

  • That research involves placing a cap 'studded with EEG-monitoring electrodes' atop the head of a convenient subject

    The first production models will come standard with the propeller attachment.

    subject, who then concentrates on an onscreen icon blinking at a particular rate. Concentrate hard enough, and the subject can launch...

    the car they are driving into the car front of them or pedestrians in the crosswalk.

  • I recall as the voice recognition technologies were developing and how increasingly accurate and impressive it became. Eventually, the problems of using it was voice strain just as the problems of typing is carpel tunnel syndrome. I believe a device controlled by the brain which is not like a natural interface in the body will become a point of stress with the user.

    There would invariably and undoubtedly be a "training" with the user and following that, the user learns to communicate. But to "do" in a way

  • Won't work (Score:5, Funny)

    by backslashdot (95548) on Monday April 22, 2013 @04:16PM (#43518631)

    This won't work, a lot of phone users don't have a brain.

  • I would like for them to stop allowing products into the OS image that drain the battery unnecessarily. "Connection optimizers" are a prime target.

  • I feel this'd work best on a head mounted device, since it'll already be in proximity to the brain, and I wouldn't have to mutter "glass..." every time I wanted to do something. Can't you already buy this kind of technology off the shelf though? Such as Emotiv.
  • I beat Samsung to it.

    I currently use my brain to control my Galaxy S3. Its uses an ingenious "series of tubes" coupled to a mind boggling number of complex electrochemical reactions within a complex neural network to control the muscle tissue that connects to the tendons that drive my fingers which directly connect to the Galaxy S3.

    Samsung should stop this R&D ( why reinvent the wheel when you can licence the design for cheaper ) and simply start paying me royalties for every Smartphone and tablet they

  • Note that Samsung is using American technology to defeat Apple in the marketplace. Apple had better be more agile and have quantum leaps in technology, because Samsung is on a shorter product cycle schedule.
  • by Snotnose (212196) on Monday April 22, 2013 @07:14PM (#43520479)

    My date asks "what are you thinking", and a few seconds later my phone starts playing porn who's star kinda looks like her.

  • I have a friend who is quadriplegic. She needs a device that lets her BRAIN control her ARMS AND LEGS. They want to give her a phone she can dial with her MIND. Never mind that fact that it's a phone, which means to use it she probably will want to use her VOICE which works just fine.
  • When I want to make a phone call, my brain waves move my hands to make the call.

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