Have you ever wondered what it would be like to control your house or other environment with your mind? Well, advances in brain computer interfaces are beginning to make much of this a reality. You see, certain brain computer interfaces can feed off of the electroencephalograph (EEG) signals from your brain, to then translate them into commands that are sent throughout a given building. (1)
If you look for them, you will see that brain computer interfaces are beginning to surface — take for instance the emotiv epoc headset which uses similar technology to what I described above, where this neural headset feeds off of the EEG signals from the brain.
But what does this mean for architecture?
For starters, the notion of control within environments will be going through a shift. As such brain computers as the emotiv epoc headset continue to be refined in their development, it may be possible to assert environmental decisions with less physical action and more mental reliance. This does seem to be great news for those who are physically impaired, as they could use such an epoc neuroheadset to engage with their environment more seamlessly.
Since the epic headset can allow its user to do things like arrange Flickr photographs according to emotion, just imagine what might be possible when incorporating transient environmental qualities into the mix.
What if when wearing such an epoc headset, you could change your environment with your mind by using your emotions. How would your house respond to you when you are feeling happy? And what might it do if you were to feel sad? Would the house then try to cheer you up with its happier lighting, sounds, or aromas?
Brain computer interfaces are certainly changing the face of interaction by allowing otherwise secondary aspects, like emotions, to surface more transparently into the decision-making realm. Really, emotions have always been a part of decision-making in human life, but now with neuroheadsets we will be able to see the real cause-and-effect relationship between emotion, decision-making and consequence. — all three of which could contribute to better design and usability for occupants within their environments.
(1) Rowe-Graham, Duncan. Control Your Home With Thought Alone. New Scientist. July 5, 2011.
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