Controlling machines with the human brain the way brain controls the human body has been the stuff of science fiction for decades. But recent research in the medical field and the arrival of virtual reality hardware in the gaming realm have brought the technology closer to reality. For the immediate future, medicine and gaming will be the areas offering the most opportunity for BMI developers, but it won’t be much longer before other industries follow.
Among those areas will be lifestyle applications: “Developers are building for games now, but there is a lot developers can get into in lifestyle applications,” says Tej Tadi, founder and CEO of MindMaze, which makes BMI products for both medical and gaming applications. For example, when the brain senses the temperature in a room is too cold, an app could automatically turn up a smart thermostat.