Microsoft wants to connect to your brain. In February of this year, they filed a patent on some interesting technology. The company plans to use electroencephalograph (EEG) technology to get inside your brain. Traditionally EEG’s are attached to a person’s head or other body parts to monitor biological signals. The signals are interpreted to determine how subjects react to new stimuli. The problem with measuring EEG data is that it is difficult to extract task oriented data from normal body activity, such as movement.
Microsoft’s patent filing is for a method of filtering EEG information, so that it is easier to determine what information is directly related to computer interaction. They plan to connect subjects to EEG’s and monitor their computer usage. They are interested in how we process information via digital means.
It is difficult to speculate whether Microsoft wants to use the technology to improve the user interface or to create some sort of control unit for your brain. Actually, it is easy to speculate. They probably want to improve user interaction, but Microsoft brain control is far more controversial and sexy. Will we be able to control our computers via our brains or will Microsoft create a bridge, tapping into our primal urges to browse faster? Only time will tell. (see patent filing)