Neuroscience Technology

Will Your Child Control His Next Generation Christmas Presents With His Mind?

Mind Control Drones

Thanks to research done by a team from the University of Warwick, the next generation of toys could be controlled by the power of the mind.

The team, led by Professor Christopher James, Director of Warwick Engineering in Biomedicine at the School of Engineering, has developed technology that connects our thoughts to computerized systems, allowing electronic devices to be controlled by electrical impulses generated from brain waves.

Some of the favorite toys on children’s lists to Santa could all be controlled via a headset, using the power of thought. These include remote controlled toy robots, helicopters and cars and Scalextric racing sets.

A brain computer interface uses a headset to create a communication link between the human brain and the computerized device. This device replaces the traditional hand held controller.

Electrical impulses from the brain are measured by sensors in the headset at various frequencies. Under special circumstances, each frequency can be controlled to a limited degree. This activity is fed into the electrical circuit of the electronic toy after being processed by a computer and amplified.

James believes that this technology has huge potential in the future. He explained that although there are already a limited number of gaming headsets on the market that use brain computer interfaces, the functionality of the existing systems is very limited. The new headsets read stronger and cleaner signals than ever before, resulting in stronger links to the toy, game or action. This makes the experience very immersive.

James also speculates that we may soon be able to answer the phone or unlock the front door through brain computer interfaces.

mind control
Infographic on mind-controlled Scalextric. Image Credit: University of Warwick