Tan Le’s astonishing new computer interface reads its user’s brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications.

Tan Le is the founder & CEO of Emotiv, a bioinformatics company that’s working on identifying biomarkers for mental and other neurological conditions using electroencephalography (EEG).

“Up until now, our communication with machines has always been limited to conscious and direct forms.Whether it’s something simple like turning on the lights with a switch, or even as complex as programming robotics, we have always had to give a command to a machine, or even a series of commands, in order for it to do something for us. Communication between people, on the other hand, is far more complex and a lot more interesting because we take into account so much more than what is explicitly expressed. We observe facial expressions, body language, and we can intuit feelings and emotions from our dialogue with one another. This actually forms a large part of our decision-making process. Our vision is to introduce this whole new realm of human interaction into human-computer interaction so that computers can understand not only what you direct it to do, but it can also respond to your facial expressions and emotional experiences. And what better way to do this than by interpreting the signals naturally produced by our brain, our center for control and experience.”

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