US NSF funds 'mind-reading' technology

National Science Foundation working on a computer that can read your mind - but can it tell when you are angry at it?

The US National Science Foundation is funding research that could enable computers to respond to your levels of frustration or boredom. In other words, we're talking about "mind-reading" technology.

Tufts University researchers are exploiting near-infrared spectroscopy technology that uses light to pick up on your emotional cues by monitoring brain blood flow.

Of course, for now you need to wear a funky headband to make it work (the headband "uses laser diodes to send near-infrared light through the forehead at a relatively shallow depth -- only two to three centimeters -- to interact with the brain's frontal lobe," according to Tufts.)

"New evaluation techniques that monitor user experiences while working with computers are increasingly necessary," said Robert Jacob, computer science professor and researcher, in a statement. "One moment a user may be bored, and the next moment, the same user may be overwhelmed. Measuring mental workload, frustration and distraction is typically limited to qualitatively observing computer users or to administering surveys after completion of a task, potentially missing valuable insight into the users' changing experiences."

Jacob is working with Sergio Fantini, biomedical engineering professor at Tufts, on the project funded by a US$445,000 grant from the NSF.

The Tufts group will present early test results at the Association for Computing Machinery symposium on user interface software and technology, to be held October 7 through 10 in the US.

More from Tufts here.

Mind-reading technologies aren't as rare as you might think. Earlier this year, a company announced a special helmet that enables video game players to communicate via their brainwaves with games.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Network World staff

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?