Brain Controlled Appliance Switching Now Here
Brain Switching Opens Vast New World
TOKYO (AP) - Tired of reaching for the remote control every time you surf the channels? Help is on the way - at a price. A Japanese company plans to market a device that changes television channels and activates household appliances at the flicker of a brain wave. The price: roughly 600,000 yen ($4,800). The product, called the Mind Control Tool Operating System, or MCTOS, is the result of a collaboration between the Technos Japan Co. and the Himeji Institute of Technology in southwestern Japan. Say you want to turn on the air conditioner. Simply focus on that icon on the MCTOS computer display menu while wearing a pair of beta-wave trapping goggles. Then, according to Technos spokesman Sadahiro Ushitani, say something like "Ei!!" inside your head. Soon your air conditioner will be pumping cool air into the room. Any strong mental affirmation triggers a brain signal that the goggles then intercept and feed to MCTOS' main computer. The computer then activates the chosen machine. "You can't just stare at the icon", said Ushitani. "You have to consciously send out a positive impulse".
Other items on the display menu include lighting, stereo and electric bed controls. The menu can be expanded depending on what electrical goods are in the room. Ushitani believes the device can help in the nursing of the bedridden and paralyzed, and Technos has been flooded by inquiries from health care centers since it unveiled MCTOS last week. Those it might help include people with speech disorders who cannot use the orally activated remote control systems already on the market. Although similar breakthroughs in brain-wave technology have been made in the past, they have remained largely in the experimental stage and have been highly impractical. One device developed in the United States requires an electrode to be implanted in the brain. MCTOS is scheduled to go on sale in April, 1998.

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