A scientific paper argues that it is perfectly feasible to make a phone call using your brain.
The Neurophone device is shown off in a Youtube video and looks terrible. In order to use it the phone users must don a weird headpiece which someone connects to the brain and beams your commands to a touch screenphone.
In the video the user looks ridiculous but does seem to be able to make a phone call, despite apparently not having any physical control over his hands. The people behind Neurophone say it is doing some work to make the headpiece smaller, and hopefully less Clockwork Orange'y, but we reckon it will be a while before people think that wearing a headpiece just to make a phone call is a good idea.
The video may pose more questions that it answers but the accompanying research paper just raises eyebrows. Undoubtedly an innovation, however we can't help but think that this is not much more than voice control for librarians.
"Neural signals are everywhere" the authors write in the paper, which has just been published. "We propose to use neural systems to control mobile phones for hands-free, silent and effortless human-mobile interaction."
The Neurophone system, which is currently called 'Dial Tim', uses off-the-shelf EEG (electroencephalography) headsets and reacts when the user recognises the photo of the person they want to call. "Instead of hand dialing your friend Tim while driving you can simply wink or think of him while your phone displays your contacts", they added.
Its not just about winking at your friends while driving either, the researchers said that professors could hold their own handsets up to a class of people wearing headsets and then determine whether they had understood the discussion at hand.
We'll take that day off sick, we reckon.