If you could control your iPhone or intelligent personal assistant with your mind, what would you make it do?
Imagine if you could mentally make your iPhone’s Siri do things like playing your iPod music, getting directions on a map, searching the web, or even playing a game with only the power of your mind. Well, then you are about to participate in an amazing journey to make this type of project a reality.
The MindGear project has the goal of creating an advanced product that will change the way you interact with your mobile device.
With the successful funding of this project, you will be able to have a way to use your mind to access and control many of the greatest features of the iPhone. The goal of this project is to produce not only the software but also find the means to enhance the hardware so that it is even smaller and easy to use.
The overall goal is to create software offers a wide range of features that are powered by real-time brainwave patterns from an EEG device controlled by the thoughts of the user. Here are some features that the project would like to include:
- Making from phone calls from a list of contacts.
- Play music from you iPod Library
- Search and browse the Web
- Open Email
- Navigate menus
- Play games that are set up for MindGear
- Access Calendar information
- Play Videos
- Get Weather
- Make Reminders
… the list goes on!
Now what would it mean to you if you could have this groundbreaking technology to yourself?
Of course you would want it.
What MindGear Will Do
The MindGear software allows users to control features on their iOS device by using the power of the brain. The software will also allow one to even receive feedback from iPhone’s intelligent virtual assistant while using their favorite features of their smartphone. With the help of NeuroSky’s MindWave Mobile EEG headset, brainwave activity is fed into the MindGear software and you’re mental abilities are unleashed on the device to make amazing things happen.
How MindGear WorksThe MindGear software suite is a comprehensive iOS application written in native Objective-C take take full advantage of the major native functions of the iPhone. Having experience with the iOS platform since 2009, many different areas will be covered by the software. MindGear will make the most use of the native capabilities offered to iPhone developers currently through the iOS SDK. MindGear is powered by Siri voice recognition and speech synthesis without having to rely on the Siri server for its responses. All of the processing is done offline. In this way, MindGear is capable of providing a custom language-processing environment for the recognition to offer quick response without a lot of delay. All this is great for normal speech recognition software, but this is where MindGear takes it a step further - moving it from "speech" recognition into "thought recognition.
Using the Neurosky MindWave Mobile headset and integrating its ability to interpret EEG brainwave patterns and implementing this technology into the application, MindGear will replace the speech recognition portion.
How MindGear Talks to the Headset
The user will wear the lightweight EEG headset while running the MindGear application. The dry sensor on the forehead reads the changes in the brain's electrical activity and sends out the EEG data to the iPhone. The communication between the headset and the software is supported through a wireless Bluetooth-paired connection that filters out the ambient waves present and measures the neural activity. The MindWave headset monitors attention, meditation, eye blinking, and other EEG brainwave patterns such as delta, theta, low alpha, high alpha, low beta, high beta, low gamma and high gamma. As the user thinks of playing music, for example, the headset sends the EEG data to the MindGear iPhone software.
From here, the EEG data is identified and verified by the application and the data is formatted in to human-readable words. These interpreted words are then processed through a natural-language understanding unit within the software to trigger the intended command. In the case of playing music the MindGear application with then provide a speech synthesized response through Siri and then start playing the music selected for playing.
Since a different set of EEG brainwave values are detected for other user thoughts, such as opening email, watching videos, and dialing a phone number, these actions have their own EEG signatures to be processed by the MindGear software.
Using the MindGear software along with the Neurosky MindWave Mobile EEG headset is easy. Just start the application, put on the headset and flip the power switch. The connection takes place and you are ready to think of what you want to do on the iPhone.
MindGear runs an iPhone that is not jailbroken and does not use a Siri-Proxy to interact. It uses a custom API to communicate with Siri.
The MindGear application is also designed to run in the background so that you can place your iPhone into your pocket or purse and control your iPhone without touching the phone. This capability make MindGear go a step beyond everyday speech recognition software and allows you to control Siri in a variety of new ways.
Over 35,000 people have watched over the past few weeks an initial prototype showing how one can control a custom Siri API on the iPhone to obey mental commands. The vimeo and youtube videos demonstrated the opening of a map and menu using mental thoughts.
Here's the buzz...
Here’s what the media had to say when they first saw the technology:
LAPTOP – “We’ve seen a lot of new technologies that allow you to control app and objects using the power of your mind, but this latest one may be the most popular of all.”
Today’s iPhone – “The idea of mind-controlled electronics have always been something of interest, and finally we are in the age of technology in which it is beginning to show some serious development.”
SlashGear – “…now we’re at a point where it’s no longer easy enough to speak commands. We just want to think them.”
Digital Trends – “…it’s exciting to think of how technology and the way we interact with it will shape the future.”
There will be two phases in this project.
The first stage will involve the development of the MindGear software. Each feature will be developed and tested against the MindWave Mobile EEG hardware so that users will be able to control important features of their iOS device with brainwave patterns. During this phase, the user interface will be designed so that users will be able to navigate between functions easily with only their mental powers.
Successful funding will allow the project to produce the first-generation MindGear software that works with the MindWave Mobile EEG hardware.
With successful funding, the second phase of this project will be able to investigate and determine the best way to reduce the size of the EEG headset to a much smaller form factor. With the right partnerships, we might even be able to eliminate the need for a bulky EEG headset and move toward a small, non-intrusive EEG wearable-patch that can be applied easily to the skin.
Integrated with the MindGear software, such a device will change the way we communicate with our mobile devices and with everyone else around us. We will no longer have to pull out our phones to make a call or get those directions from Siri the maps, we could just think at our devices to produce the necessary sub-vocalizations to issue the mental commands.
Depending upon the how well the project is sponsored, the end result will be an enhanced MindGear suite coupled with a much smaller EEG hardware form factor.
The Mind’s the Limit
A project of this magnitude depends upon the backing of many great people and the ability to think in a totally different way. There will be challenges ahead as techniques for communicating thoughts to the devices are enhanced and refined.
Many difficult tasks have already been overcome in this project such as getting Siri to do anything without having to press the Home button as well as coupling the EEG headset with the mobile device to control some basic functions with the mind.
Next, the project will create the full MindGear software suite and finally, the project will work toward reducing the form factor of the EEG headset.
Also, you can help by spreading the word about this project to your friends. Please use the share tools to spread the word about this campaign to make it reality.
Moving forward, it’s good to have some inspiration as guidance. Steve Jobs once said:
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”