Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Going hands-free: Hitachi's brain-machine interface

by Ian Johnson, CBC news online

If you're one of those people who HAS to have the latest and greatest computer gadget, Hitachi has just the thing: A portable brain-machine interface. That is, as long as you've got roughly $840,000 U.S. burning a hole in your pocket.

A brain-machine interface basically senses activity in your brain and converts it into signals to control machinery or electronic devices.

Hitachi showed off an early prototype in November 2006 that allowed people to turn a power switch on and off with a thought - pretty cool, but the headset looked like something out of a 1960s sci-fi drama. The version unveiled Tuesday represents an enormous leap forward, at least in the aesthetics department - it looks like something from a 1980s sci-fi drama (see photo).

Photo Credit Getty Images.jpg(Photo: Getty Images)


Details from Tuesday's demonstration at the company's headquarters in Japan were sketchy, and the company didn't say whether the capabilities had been expanded from the version shown to the public in November last year. Hitachi did say the system is easy to use and that it had been built using parts from models designed for medical applications. It has eight pairs of lasers and optical sensors in a special headband that measures prefrontal cortex activity in the brain.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Gizella Szabo

WOW, way to go. This technology can prove how thoughts can effect environment. Very interesting.

Posted May 23, 2007 09:27 AM

Steve St-Laurent

Only $840,000 to throw a switch? Seems we're getting a little top-heavy in our technological advances, and all for the benefit of a tiny minority. How many people would that feed, house and educate. What were they thinking? Wait, it would take billions to find out. Thanks a lot, big brain!

Posted May 24, 2007 03:17 PM

Mike

Ottawa

Today they need a headband to read our thoughts ... anyone else wonder how long it will take before these lasers and optical sensors will work at a distance?

Posted May 25, 2007 09:51 AM

Mr. NeoCan

Halifax

Awesome, bring it on!

I can only wonder how the quality of life for people with mobility disabilies will improve when the cost of these devices drops to affordable ranges.

Computers used to cost $800K at one point too. In 20-40 years this tech. will be common place.

Posted May 25, 2007 04:04 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Congress releases redacted, declassified Democratic memo
Congress has released a redacted, declassified memo that aims to counter GOP allegations that the FBI abused government surveillance powers in its investigation into Russian election interference.
UN Security Council unanimously votes for ceasefire as airstrikes batter Syria's Ghouta
The UN Security Council on Saturday demanded a 30-day truce across Syria "without delay" as rescuers in the country's eastern Ghouta region said bombing would not let up long enough for them to count bodies during one of the bloodiest air assaults of the seven-year war.
New Bollywood star Sridevi dead at 54
Sridevi, Bollywood's leading lady of the 1980s and 1990s, has died. She suffered cardiac arrest, a family member said.
more »

Canada »

Chatham-Kent flood: Multiple people rescued as Thames River continues to rise video
Residents in Chatham, Ont., were being rescued from their flooded homes Saturday, after the swollen Thames River overflowed in the downtown core and surrounding areas.
Anne Norris found not criminally responsible for killing Marcel Reardon video
Anne Norris, 30, admitted to killing Marcel Reardon, 46, with a hammer. A St. John's trial found her not criminally responsible.
Widespread changes demanded to prevent 'another 100 Tina Fontaines' video
The death of Tina Fontaine and the acquittal of the man accused of killing her has sparked demands for widespread changes to prevent more young Indigenous people falling through society's cracks.
more »

Politics »

New parental leave planned in budget aims to get women into workforce audio
Introducing a new incentive for fathers to take parental leave has largely been driven by the government's attempt to promote gender equality, including allowing women to return to work after having a baby, according to a cabinet minister who oversaw the consultations.
What should Morneau's budget do? We asked the experts — and the critics
Only a handful of people in the Ottawa bubble know for certain what's in the budget document Finance Minister Bill Morneau is releasing next week. But as always, there's no shortage of theories — and everyone has a wish list.
Ottawa moves to settle sexual misconduct class action lawsuits against Canadian Forces
After facing criticism over arguments its lawyers made in court, the federal government is moving to settle proposed class action lawsuits filed by members of the Canadian Armed Forces who allege rampant sexual misconduct, racism and gender discrimination within the military.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

New Bollywood star Sridevi dead at 54
Sridevi, Bollywood's leading lady of the 1980s and 1990s, has died. She suffered cardiac arrest, a family member said.
Notting Hill, Vicar of Dibley actress Emma Chambers dead at 53
British actress Emma Chambers, known for her roles in The Vicar of Dibley television series and the romantic comedy Notting Hill, has died at 53.
Judge dismisses coal company suit against HBO's John Oliver
A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy against HBO host John Oliver.
more »

Technology & Science »

How fossil footprints found on a Greek holiday could rewrite the history of humanity
In 2002, a Polish paleontologist found what he thinks are the oldest human-like footprints in the world. Thus began a vicious fight over a discovery that raises new questions about our evolution.
Spark Distracted by interruptions? Science offers tips for focusing
Phone notifications and other distractions that interrupt you before you've finished what you're doing can leave you unable to focus. Here are some simple strategies to maintain and regain that focus.
Why A.I. companies are paying random strangers to take videos of themselves doing mundane tasks
Wired's Tom Simonite tells us about the bizarre odd jobs he's performed for A.I. startups, from lying facedown on the carpet to pretending to buy groceries.
more »

Money »

'The not so golden years' — a quarter of retired Canadians in debt, survey suggests
A "worry-free retirement" may be a thing of the past, according to a new Sun Life Financial survey, which finds that a quarter of retired Canadians are in debt in their golden years.
Backlash against NRA, gun industry spreads in wake of Florida shooting
The National Rifle Association and the firearms industry are facing a growing backlash in the wake of the deadly Florida high school shooting, with calls to boycott the big lobby group spreading from social media to businesses.
No more 'cheat sheets': Electronic logs for truckers mandatory by 2020
A major technological change is about hit the road for Canadian truck drivers. The federal government has announced it will require all commercial truck and bus drivers to install electronic logging devices in their vehicles by the year 2020.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Live Watch Germany, OAR play for gold in men's hockey on Olympic Primetime
Watch Day 16 coverage of CBC Olympic Primetime, featuring the men's hockey gold-medal game between Germany and the Olympic Athletes from Russia.
Analysis Gutsy Canadian men's hockey team was easy to cheer for
The resolve of this journeyman-laden Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team was on full display with its bounce-back game to win bronze against the Czech Republic on Saturday.
Canada's Kripps slides to 6th as Germany's Friedrich wins 4-man bobsleigh
Canada's Justin Kripps piloted Canada-1 to sixth place in the 4-man bobsleigh final with a combined time of three minutes, 16.69 seconds.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »