Intel: Chip in Brain Implants Are the Future

Working on your typing skills or even learning Dvorak or Colemak (admittedly, I have) to make you a more efficient worker? That may be all for nothing as Intel believes that we'll be able to control our computers with our brains by 2020.

Intel and its research partners are studying how brain acts when it thinks. For example, scientists have found that people's brains react in a similar manner when asked to think of a bear.

Through sensors that can detect this sort of brain activity, Intel think that it will be able to read and translate this into an input system thanks to a brain implantable chip.

"We're trying to prove you can do interesting things with brain waves," Intel research scientist Dean Pomerleau told Computerworld. "Eventually people may be willing to be more committed ... to brain implants. Imagine being able to surf the Web with the power of your thoughts."

Even if thinking about a bear isn't enough to detect that you want to copy and paste something, Intel still thinks that there's a future in using your brain instead of the keyboard.

"If we can get to the point where we can accurately detect specific words, you could mentally type," he added. "You could compose characters or words by thinking about letters flashing on the screen or typing whole words rather than their individual characters."

While this may all sound far-fetched, or perhaps even inconvenient for present time, Intel thinks that it's possible and something we'll all want.

"I think human beings are remarkable adaptive," said Andrew Chien, vice president of research and director of future technologies research at Intel Labs. "If you told people 20 years ago that they would be carrying computers all the time, they would have said, 'I don't want that. I don't need that.' Now you can't get them to stop [carrying devices]. There are a lot of things that have to be done first but I think [implanting chips into human brains] is well within the scope of possibility."

Make good use of your fancy mouse and keyboard set up before they're obsolete, folks.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • ben850
    you wat you lose
  • FilthPig2004
    What do you think your subconscious is going to do with the power of the Internet?
  • ben850
    look up "sex" in google every 10 seconds? (statistically)
  • 2020? I highly doubt it.

    Sure if we could do it now with a room sized device, then its just a matter of scale. 10 years is reasonable if that was the case....

    BUT, we aren't even close to this level of technology yet. Sure there have been lab expierements with a alphabet on screen where people look at the letters to type a word. But it takes forever. We have a LONG way to go before thinking about brain implants to control devices.
  • AtuBrian
    cyerdyne? terminator!
  • fonzy
    Can I have one implanted in my forehead AND in my Right hand please.

    Seriously though this is getting damn close to becoming a Borg.
  • gammaraptor
    oh god.
  • nforce4max
    You must love big brother. 1984

    Go back and watch your telescreen.
    If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. That's all I'll say here. Put it this way though, it'd be nice if there were an easy way to make the rest of the world smarter and change most people's way of thinking, at least where I live.
  • Raid3r
    One of the many regions of ideas that should be for once left to the imagination. We have not really started on the road of using our minds and for the lack of want and teachers the best we can come up with is using tech to "enhance" how we interact with our physical domain by putting physical things inside our body. Its a step back but just maybe most have to fall before they can move forward. Necessary evil?