Hooking up brains to machines could be the 'next big thing' for gaming – TNW

It may sound like science fiction, but brain-machine interfaces (BMI) will eventually come to our devices. It’s just a matter of time. The technology has been actively researched since 1969, before consumer computers even existed, when a researcher showed that monkeys could amplify their brain signals to control a needle on a dial.

Today, researchers are making strides to bring brain-machine interfaces closer to reality. Stanford researchers successfully created an interface for brain-controlled typing where users simply imagine their own hand movements to move an on-screen cursor, helping paralyzed users communicate.

Startup CTRL-Labs has figured out a way to make the brain-machine interface possible without the need for an intrusive implant thanks to an electromyography (EMG) wristband and machine learning.

For mobile, a brain-machine interface could be a pivotal moment in computing. The keyboard has been around since the genesis of the computer, and its replacement will come in the form of a brain-to-machine technology.

Touch screens were seen as a major step forward, allowing users to interact directly with elements on the screen instead of using a mouse, but brain-machine interfaces are entirely different and have the ability to fundamentally change how we interact with our devices. And just as with new technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and motion tracking, gaming will be the industry that pushes brain-machine interfaces into the mainstream.

Mind games

Beyond the obvious use of brain-machine interfaces assisting the disabled, the technology could also change how we use devices in the future, and one of the most local implementations is in gaming. Like the Nintendo Gameboy that ushered in the era of handheld devices (superseding the Palm Pilot), and powerful graphics cards once used for gaming now turned into tools for design and Bitcoin mining, gaming will push forward an era of brain-controlled input devices in the near

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