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by Don

I’m thinking ….

Toyota has developed the wheelchair in collaboration with researchers in Japan. The system analyzes brain wave data using signal-processing technology and delivers neuro-feedback to the driver.

Several months back we became aware of a technology that is alleged to help people improve their brain patterns — to become more productive. I went to a seminar by and learned that you can monitor brain action and through neuro-feedback improve your ability to think. I was intrigued, but not intrigued enough to fork out the big bucks they desired.

In contacting “traditional” medical professionals and health insurance companies, I was informed that this technology is not widely recognized and getting any type of reimbursement would be difficult at best. This was in fact confirmed by the presenter at the seminar I attended. And yet the idea seemed logical to me and I wondered about it a fair amount since. The idea may be starting to gain some recognition however.

Last week when I learned from Mike Industries (a blog that used to be full of great things and thanks to twitter is now near useless … present story being a rare exception of late) that a company was now making a “toy” that allowed you to levitate a ping pong ball with EEG waives, I became even more intrigued. That videor story suggested that work was underway to do all sorts of things with brain waves, including flying jets. I really think there is something to all of this … you exercise your body to become better at a skill be it juggling, writing, typing, running, basketball … and on and on. Why not your mind? And I suppose we do exercise our mind on some level — we do multiplication tables, division problems, figure things out, do jigsaw puzzles, be we get no truly objective and simultaneous feedback (unless I suppose you are juggling knives … hmmm).

Now this week Toyota announces a wheelchair that responds to brain waves! Exactly! Now how can they tell you there is nothing to this technology on the one hand and then on the other use a wheelchair that uses the very concept?

I’m intrigued and thinking this will be the next big thing — much bigger than the Segway which was to revolutionize our world as we knew it.

I’d love to replace my computer mouse with an eeg … but not to strap on a helmet to do it …

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