“Siri, what am I thinking?” Imagine asking that question using only your mind. Would Siri give its usual smart-aleck answer or start composing a text message for you? Who cares, you just controlled Siri using only your brain!
Duane Cash, an iOS developer who also happens to work for Honda Americas Research & Development, has developed a custom interface and API for controlling Siri via EEG signals from the brain. Imagine being able to think your text messages and having them sent automatically. Better yet, get directions while driving just by thinking it. No need to say a word, Siri will pull up the directions automatically.
While Cash’s invention isn’t quite at that level yet, it’s very impressive. He’s able to activate Siri by waving his hand in front of the iPhone and then command Siri using electroencephalography, a recording of electrical activity around the scalp. In the video below, Cash demonstrates opening a map using his mind and opening and closing a menu page. It’s amazing technology that still has a long way to go, but think of how awesome it would be for people who are unable to speak to be able to command the iPhone’s mistress.
Granted, Siri could use some updating to make the interface easier to work with. We still get annoyed that Siri can’t answer follow up questions to answers it’s given us, but hopefully that will be fixed in a future version. However, there’s no doubt that Siri and its competitor, Google Now, have changed not only the way we use technology, but also our expectations of what our mobile devices and computers can do for us. While controlling our phone with our mind might be a few years away, it’s exciting to think of how technology and the way we interact with it will shape the future.