Japan eyes 'mind-reading' devices, robots by 2020: report

Apr 22, 2010
An engineer uses a device that detects brain activity patterns to communicate with a computer at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover in 2008. Japan plans to develop "mind-reading" robots and consumer electronics that can be controlled by thought alone and hopes to market them within a decade, the Nikkei daily has reported.

Japan plans to develop "mind-reading" robots and consumer electronics that can be controlled by thought alone and hopes to market them within a decade, the Nikkei daily reported Thursday.

The sci-fi like devices would employ so-called brain-machine interface technology, which analyses users' and brain blood-flow patterns detected through sensor-mounted headsets.

The envisaged devices would include television sets that can be operated without lifting a finger and mobile phones that send text messages composed purely through thought, the business daily said.

The initiative, to be launched this fiscal year, is a partnership between the government and the private sector, the report said, citing unnamed communications ministry sources.

Other applications could include a that searches for restaurants when the driver thinks of having a meal, and air-conditioners that adjust the temperature when people in the room feel too warm or cold.

They could also include robots that know when an elderly or physically disabled person needs help carrying a heavy load, the Nikkei said.

The project would likely include corporate giants including Toyota, Honda and Hitachi as well as the National Institute of Information and , Osaka University and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, the report said.

Explore further: Index ranks Japan Asia's most efficient innovator (Update)

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User comments : 4

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enantiomer2000
5 / 5 (3) Apr 22, 2010
BCI is the next logical step in UI with computers. I would love to be able to ditch my mouse at the very least.
1958
5 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2010
Come on Singularity. My friends will include robots I hope.
nitishkannan
not rated yet Apr 25, 2010
techdimwit.com cover technology articles related to singularity, Ray Kurzweil, brain machine interfaces, steve jobs, Apple releases, and the future technology.

Nitish Kannan
MikeLisanke
not rated yet May 01, 2010
If mind-reading robots wanted to subjugate humanity, would we have the ability to stop them? Be careful which singularity you wish for, you may get it. :-)