Brain-controlled virtual environments are coming-up, as startups work to "hack" the human mind. Technology giant Microsoft has been granted a patent for a brain control device that can give users mind control powers to operate apps with just their brains, without any movement.
Using sensor-equipped head bands, the device could ideally interpret neurological data to have users open and use apps with thoughts instead of gestures, the americangenius.com reported.
These sensors would send neurological signals like the electroencephalogram (EEG) readings, which the device can decode to launch and operate compatible apps.
Algorithms would learn the brain behaviour and use neuron fluctuation to draw or move objects at the user's will based on detected patterns.
Some operative gestures include intention to swipe, finger pinch, mouse clicks and button pushes. Once the user thinks or focuses on these movements, the data is communicated to the computer system that runs the app.
"Neurological user intention data corresponding to a physical gesture is generated when a user thinks about and/or focuses on a movement, in the same way an amputee might think about moving an amputated limb," according to the patent, as quoted by theamericangenius.com.
While any kind of app can be used, the patent mentions video games, augmented and virtual reality simulators, three-dimensional modelling software, web browsers and even word processors.
Apps controlling mechanical tools and machinery like robotic arms could also be used with Microsoft's new patent technology.
The patent could also one day open up the possibility for less dystopic things like controlling prosthetic limbs and giving differently abled individuals the ability to control apps and devices even if they are not able to physically move.
In 2017, Facebook claimed to be developing a brain computer interface.