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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 5, No. 3. March 31, 2010
ISSN 1932-3018

Brain-computer interface
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief focuses on improving communications between humans and machines. It deals with thought-activated technology (TAT) and more specifically with brain computer interface. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends it is concerned with the functionality of information transmission
Technoscan® Newsbrief, Vol.2, No. 7, July 2007, entitled “Thought-activated technology”, noted the progression toward increasingly ethereal linkages between the brain and computers. It differentiated three phases:
  • Hands on technology
  • Voice activated technology
  • Thought-activated technology
A recent innovation has moved the latter category one step forward. It involves the use of EEG sensors to (i) detect and (ii) decipher brain activity. Dr. Contreras-Vidal and his colleagues at the University of Maryland were able to obtain enough EEG data from volunteers to reconstruct hand motions in three dimensions. The interface device was a skull-cap fitted with 34 EEG sensors. Prof. Klaus-Robert Müller of the Berlin Institute of Technology has demonstrated pin-ball using EEG sensors. "Thinking about it: Advances in brain to machine connections" The Economist, March 13, 2010, p. 84.
The significance of this invention is its use of commercially available components; in this case EEG sensors that are well known in the trade and can be bought at prices reflecting large scale production.
This innovation advances the technology readiness level (TRL) of brain computer interface. On the NASA nine-level scale, this technology is probably at TRL 4. Further development will also require growth in mental skills. At present about 30% of participants cannot achieve the necessary control.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.