Duke University has been experimenting with telekinetic monkeys for some time now.
If Kickstarter is anything to judge by, people really want to train their brains and use them to control stuff by thought alone.
In only a few days, Emotiv has raised nearly half a million dollars, far more than its campaign goal of $100,000, to develop a "neuroheadset" called the Insight.
The Insight is a wireless 5-channel headset that records brainwaves so users can allegedly improve brain performance and turn data into commands to interact with computers, operating everything from apps to wheelchairs. … Read more
Next time you see an obese adolescent, blame the parents. At least that's what researchers at the Imperial College London are suggesting. They have developed a calculator to predict a newborn's chances of developing childhood or adolescent obesity
With only one in 10 cases of obesity being the result of a rare genetic mutation, researchers set out to determine which environmental factors played the largest roles in the development of childhood obesity.
"Once we compare different statistical models, and we added the genetic variants [associated with causing obesity], their ability to explain childhood obesity didn't improve … Read more
Connecting to a wireless scale through your computer is so first-quarter 2012. Now, if you're willing to drop $150 on the new Withings Wireless Scale WS-30, all you need is a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet to do the trick.
Withings, the French technology company best known for its sleek wireless scales for adults and babies alike, just announced its latest offering at IFA 2012 in Berlin and says the WS-30 will be available in Europe in late September (PDF). Its new (and free) Health Companion app, which helps users track not just weight and BMI (body mass index) but … Read more
Are the deepest secrets of your mind safe? Could thieves trick you into revealing your bank card PIN or computer passwords just by thinking about them?
Theoretically, it could happen.
Ivan Martinovic of the University of Oxford and colleagues at the University of Geneva and University of California at Berkeley describe research into that question in a paper entitled "On the Feasibility of Side-Channel Attacks With Brain-Computer Interfaces" presented earlier this month at the 21st USENIX Security Symposium.
The research was inspired by the growing number of games and other mind apps available for low-cost consumer EEG devices such as Emotiv's EPOC headset, which lets users interact with computers using their thoughts alone. … Read more
Could soldiers of the future fight battles in robot bodies controlled from afar? DARPA apparently thinks so, and the agency wants to create an army of surrogate fighting droids.
The U.S. military's research wing apparently is planning surrogates like in the film "Avatar" but with robots instead of giant Na'vi. It has a $7 million program code-named "Avatar" in its 2013 budget, according to Wired.
The robots would reduce risk to human fighters, just as thousands of aerial drones are already keeping pilots out of harm's way. … Read more
The Aria has competition in the "smart" scale department, with the Withings booth and its very similar scales for adults and yes, even babies, just a few yards away.
But Fitbit has introduced a multiple-user feature that recognizes--out of as many as eight different users--who is standing on the scale. Think large households, dorm quads, sports teams, etc.
Priced at $129.99, Fitbit's first Wi-Fi scale can tally weight, body fat, and body mass index, and automatically uploads that info with every step on the scale to an online tool with graphs that perhaps too-handily track one's progress (or lack thereof). The online and mobile tools are free and also include weight goals and a food and exercise log.… Read more
Road rage much? You might want to think twice about that if you're driving a mind-controlled car under development by Nissan.
The automaker teamed up with Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) to create a vehicle that can anticipate maneuvers like turning left or right "after scanning the thought patterns of its driver."
In a similar vein, researchers at the Berlin Institute of Technology used a BMI (brain-machine interface) simulator that allowed drivers to stop 130 milliseconds faster via thought control than brakes alone. EPFL scientists have already enabled wheelchair users to steer with their minds through BMI technology, as seen in the vid below.
That kind of piloting requires a high level of concentration, so the Swiss scientists are trying other methods to develop a driving system that can respond to less focused mental states. … Read more
Would you wear this digital sombrero for a better gaming experience?
As seen in the vid below, the Immersive Digital Entertainment VR system provides a high-def, 360-degree display showing virtual objects that users can manipulate with their hands. User motions are tracked with high-def motion-capture cameras from Vicon.
The VR experience seems very realistic and smooth. Takahiro Akiyama of collaborator 4D Brain suggests the helmet could also serve as a brain-machine interface and react to what the user is thinking. If BMI technology were incorporated in the device, it might be able to display scenes matching certain brain wave patterns. For instance, a beach when the user is trying to relax.
That would be cool, but the entire concept is dubious. … Read more
The Web site of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) has been down since last night after being targeted by a distributed denial-of-service attack launched by the Anonymous hacker group as part of what it calls its "war on copyright."
BMI took the site offline after the attack started last night, a spokeswoman told CNET today. It remained inaccessible as of 11:30 a.m. PT today. BMI handles licensing and royalty payment collections on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers.
"In a protective measure, BMI.com has been temporarily taken down due to a denial-of-service attack reportedly … Read more