Mind over matter – the future of remote control

Cyborg headControlling mechanical and electronic devices with nothing but the power of your own thoughts is a science fiction trope almost as old as the genre itself, and like many other tropes it’s edging towards plausibility at quite a speed. [image by mize2oo5]

Futurismic has mentioned braincomputer interfaces a few times before, and the essential framework of the technology is fairly well established. However, the high costs involved mean that beyond research and rehabilitation there aren’t many truly practical applications right now.

But that’s not stopping the researchers thinking big, as in this Popular Mechanics article:

“… the research is showing that the brain can act independently of the body. One day, you could be sitting in an office and controlling a device from across the room—or in another building. And it’s not just flicking a switch. It could be a nanotool that’s moving through a tiny environment, and you can control it and see what it’s seeing.”

So, great news for the prospect of telecommuting – almost all manufacturing jobs could be done from the comfort of your armchair, for example. The flipside being, of course, that it would make offshore outsourcing an even more viable option than it is now. [story via SlashDot]