Drones, prosthetic limbs, virtual objects. This is a short list of things that can already be used with mind-control technologies.

But at least one researcher wants to bring the same mind-control tech to a more mainstream setting, specifically the smart home.

Imagine waking up in the morning and adjusting the lights, starting the coffee, and turning on the news with just your thoughts. It sounds crazy, but by embedding so-called mind control technology into things like clothing and accessories, it's becoming possible, said Dean Aslam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University. 

Aslam, who is a 20-year industry veteran, has created a system that he tells Business Insider could enable people to control a range of devices with their mind. So how does it work?

The technology Aslam developed works a lot like taking an electroencephalogram (EEG), which is a way of measuring and recording a person's brain waves by using a system of sensors.

Basically, the sensors are worn on or around a person's head to measure the electromagnetic waves of a person's brain when they are focused on something. That information is then processed in a tiny computer attached to the sensors called a microsystem to signal to another pre-programmed device, let's say a toaster, to turn on. In order to control a large number of devices in a smart home it would be necessary for the EEG-based microsystem to also respond to eye-blink, attention and meditation levels, Aslam said.

Here's Aslam controlling a robot made out of LEGOs with his mind while wearing his special cap. The robot moves when Aslam 'focuses' on it:


While using EEG sensors for mind control is not new, Aslam said he is working to make the technology a little bit more seamless. Because most EEG gear comes in the form of a bulky headset or in the form of a slew of wires strapped to the skull, it's not the most adoptable technology.

But Aslam said the sensors that enable the system have advanced to the point that they can be hidden. In fact, Aslam has sown several prototypes into the collars of shirts and in hats so that they are more wearable.

"The big challenge is how can you wear this system comfortably? How can you wear this system so that people around you do not notice? Once you figure this out then it opens up a huge opportunity for applications," he said.

Check out Aslam controlling a robot with the technology in the video below.

This article was originally published by Business Insider

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