A RECENT item in Yahoo News caught my attention. It says that Samsung is doing research “that would allow users to control a computing device with their thoughts alone.”
It is a project at the company’s Emerging Technology Lab, in partnership with Roozbeh Jafari, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas.
According to the news, “the research has already enabled test subjects to launch apps on a tablet, pick a song on a playlist or a contact from an address book, and power up the device.”
MIT Technology Review was the first to report the revolutionary project. “In order to control the tablet with their minds alone, users need to wear a cap full of EEG (electro encephalograph) electrodes on the head.” Shades of an “X-men” movie, isn’t it?
The idea of the human mind controlling electronic devices is not really new. About 15 years ago, Associated Press reported that Australian scientists had discovered how to use brain waves “to switch on a light bulb.”
According to this item, “by putting two electrodes on the skull and connecting them to an amplifier and transmitter, a person can use the minute voltage in their brainwaves to control electric devices.” The Australian scientists explained that they were “not controlling thought pattern, merely the brainwaves.”
Health Science Professor Ashley Craig at Sydney’s University of Technology said that what they have done is to “identify signals within the brain which everyone can control, and devised some novel technology to pick up and analyze those signals.” He believes that once analyzed, “these signals can be made to activate any device such as a household appliance.”
The idea of an electrical device being controlled by the mind is not really far-fetched or an impossible process. Even prior to the release or the above news item, I was in former Soviet Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), where I met Dr. Zdeneck Rejdak, head of the Psychotronics Society in Prague, and he told me that they have developed a motor called the Pavlita Motor, which could be turned on or off with the mind.
Unfortunately, I was not able to see this motor, as I had only two days in Prague. I had to get back immediately to Munich, Germany, for a talk I was scheduled to give at the Max Planck Institute about the Philippine phenomenon of Psychic Surgery.
Reading about these amazingly rapid technological developments reminds me of how Western comic book writers had anticipated many inventions, long before they became a reality.
For example, Dick Tracy had a wristwatch that functioned as a radio transmitter and receiver. Now, there is in the works a cellphone as small as a wristwatch, the least function of which is to tell the time.
In the early science fiction comics “Flash Gordon,” there was a machine that could transmit information from distant places through a series of connected tubes. This was the forerunner of the fax machine, long before it became a reality many, many years later.
In the same comic-book story, Flash Gordon had a backpack type of rocket that enabled him to fly upwards. The same idea was developed by the Americans and used during the Vietnam War to enable soldiers to hurdle high barriers and even fly behind enemy lines.
So, what else is next—a brain transplant? Who knows?
On May 1, Art of Living Foundation founder, the world-renowned Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, will speak on “The Secret to Health and Happiness, an Evening of Wisdom and Meditation,” 6-8 p.m. at AIM, 123 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City. Fee is only P300. For more details, contact 0917-8408833 or 0917-8484898. See you there!
The next Practical Mind Dynamics Seminar is on May 11-12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Rm. 308 Prince Plaza I, Legazpi St., Greenbelt, Makati. For more details call tel. 8107245, 8159890, 0908-3537885 or 0929-4187011; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.jimmylicauco.com.