'Brainpainting' draws crowds at world's top tech fair

Mar 06, 2013
Banners sporting the CeBIT computer fair logo flutter in the wind on March 13, 2007 at the fair grounds in Hanover, central Germany. A computer programme enabling paralysed patients to create artwork using just the power of their brains drew big crowds on Wednesday at the CeBIT, the world's top IT fair.

A computer programme enabling paralysed patients to create artwork using just the power of their brains drew big crowds on Wednesday at the CeBIT, the world's top IT fair.

Under a system pioneered by Austrian firm g-tec, the user wears a cap that measures .

By focusing hard on a flashing icon on a screen, the cap can recognise the specific brain activity connected to that item, allowing the user to "choose" what he or she wants the computer to do.

The artist can select various shapes and colours via and build up a basic picture on the screen, explained g-tec sales director Markus Bruckner. The user can also draw straight lines.

"This is primarily for , paralysed people or people who have suffered a stroke," he said.

The idea came from an artist who had a friend paralysed in an accident who loved painting. The artist wanted to find a way to let the friend draw again, said Bruckner, adding that g-tec was the only company offering this service.

Altogether, the system costs 12,000 euros ($15,600), including the brainwave-reading cap, the computer software and the technology to interpret the brain activity, said Bruckner.

It has already been trialled successfully on severely disabled patients, he added.

The , in the northern German city of Hanover, is the world's biggest fair for high-tech, attracting this year around 4,100 from some 70 countries.

Explore further: Increasing ecological understanding with virtual worlds and augmented reality

Related Stories

Robot artist 'draws' crowds at world's top tech fair

Mar 07, 2012

A robot caricaturist that can draw an accurate likeness of its subject in just three minutes was wowing the crowds on Wednesday at the world's biggest IT fair, but not every customer was satisfied.

3D printer wows world's top high-tech fair

Mar 05, 2013

Of all the futuristic gadgets on show at CeBIT, the world's top high-tech fair, few drew bigger crowds Tuesday than a 3D printer creating solid objects in plastic from a computer display.

Recommended for you

Startup marries digital, physical worlds

23 hours ago

A startup business that wants to link the realm of physical objects to the digital world of the Internet is basing its future on low-cost, highly engineered, one-of-a-kind plastic stamps.

Ears, grips and fists take on mobile phone user ID

Apr 26, 2015

A research project has been under way to explore a biometric authentication system dubbed Bodyprint, with interesting test results. Bodyprint has been designed to detect users' biometric features using the ...

Zensors: Making sense with live question feeds

Apr 23, 2015

Getting answers to what you really want to ask, beyond if the door is open or shut, could be rather easy. A video on YouTube demonstrates something called Zensors. Started at Carnegie Mellon last year and ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Isaacsname
not rated yet Mar 06, 2013
Makes me wonder what would be possible with people who appear to be catatonic.

They could possibly use the internet, type on an onscreen keyboard, etc.

TemporalGhost2_0
not rated yet Mar 19, 2013
I would think the value, applications of this technology could extend not only to the so-called disabled, but someone one like me: Imaginative (I hope), but artistically worthless. If I were to try to paint "what I visualize", any rational person would call it graffiti. I can read music, and can play the proper keys, but I can't turn it into "music". Any technology that would permit me to express what I am or thinking I would welcome. Some of you might run for the nearest fire exit. (sorry)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.