It’s always been a mystery that why our brain uses more than 20% of our body’s energy even when we are not doing any physical or mental activity.
Scientists, for a long time, believed this energy generates electrical charge used by neurons to communicate. Recently, however, they discovered that brain uses 90% of this energy in maintenance activities.
Yes, maintenance charges are high up here, too!
Our brain uses this energy to keep track of existing neuron paths – by firing small electric charges. It’s similar to how Google sends its crawlers to keep track of a webpage. Also, it uses it for maintaining our memory. This was recently revealed in a research by IBM.
Well, we all know that an electric charge also has a magnetic effect and that’s the reason why our brain emits small pulses of electromagnetic waves. Do you know this could become the base of future telepathy technology? We can reverse-engineer those electromagnetic waves to decipher brain signals.
This is something scientists are working on from a long time. Last month, a team of researchers from Stanford University developed a system that helped a monkey type at a speed of 12 words per minute. Just by reading his brainwaves!
Similar things can be applied on humans, too. After all, they are our ancestors!
Imagine a future where you no longer speak or type to get your message across. You’ll be talking directly to the brain of a listener. You will be giving orders to your robots directly from your brain.
Quite a ride to future sci-fi fantasy, wasn’t it?
Now, let’s come back to the reality where we are still on 12 words per minute speed. Hopefully, we aren’t too far from that sci-fi future. Researchers are working around the clock to revolutionize the telepathic communication.
Samsung patented a method to control a smartphone using brain
Being interested in this topic, I have been tracking research trends in telepathy for quite some time. Recently, I stumbled upon 3 patents by Samsung on a brain wave reading helmet (EEG helmet).
EEG helmet is a common gadget in medical industry. Samsung’s patents, however, disclose using such a helmet to control your smartphone. Cool! Isn’t it?
I want to jump right in to explain what Samsung is going to do by reading your brainwaves. Before that, but, let me first reveal what brain waves are and how a device like an ECG helmet actually reads them.
Classification of Brain Wave (a little bit nerdy)
The brainwaves are classified into 4 prime categories, Alpha, Beta, Theta, and Gamma, based on their frequencies. As I’m not a brain biologist, I will try to keep it as simple as possible. Our brain responds to each situation or environment differently, triggering different neuron paths which ahead emits a different pattern of brainwaves.
So, what an ECG helmet do is, read those patterns using small electrodes, compare it with existing information, forward that to a doctor which is then used for diagnosis.
This is how a normal electroencephalogram (EEG) test is conducted to read the electrical activity which doctors use to figure out the abnormalities in a brain. The question is, what is Samsung planning to do with an EEG helmet?
The three patents on brainwave by Samsung
The first 2 patents, US20080154148 and US20130012829A1, mention the use of brain waves to control a display and a smartphone. The 3rd patent, however, is a design patent which discloses how the helmet will look like once manufactured.
Here’s a picture of helmet-
Not only a smartphone, but you will be able to control your TV, AC, or other gadgets. Just through your brain. How? Read on:
Let’s assume you’re watching your favorite sitcom on TV. Today’s episode has ended and now you want to change the channel. Right as you think of changing the channel, your brain helmet will read that thought and will change the channel for you.
The below image could help you explain its working:
Another example could be of your smartphone. Let’s say you are watching a video and felt that the brightness is more than normal. You want to change it. But you hurt your fingers.
Just think of changing the brightness. Your brain helmet will catch that and will make your smartphone to follow the orders. Too simple! Yeah!
The first thought hit my mind right after studying these patents was: do we really need something like this? Yes we need such a technology.
This brainwave reading helmet can become a miraculous gift for differently abled people. A gadget like this can give them alternate ways to interact with surroundings. There are infinite numbers of ways these helmets can make their life a lot easier and fun.