Taking flight on wings of fancy.
The ultimate input and control method is a direct connection to your brain. NeuroSky has just such a device on the market. It's a reasonably sleek headset that reads your alpha and beta brain waves, and then translates the readings into commands that are passed on to whatever you're trying to control.
Their breakout product last year was the Necomimi – fuzzy cat ears that attach to the headset and then move up or down or wiggle according to your mood. The company says they've sold hundreds of thousands of them at a hundred bucks a pop.
At the Showstoppers event tonight at CES, they demonstrated a model helicopter that you can control just by thinking about it. It's still a novelty, but it's a lot more impressive than cat ears.
They're looking for developers who can take it to the next level. The newest version of the headset costs $99 and they have an API available.
At the AT&T Hackathon this past weekend, one of the winners built an app that used a NeuroSky headset to track the wearer's mood and then direct calls accordingly. If your brainwaves show you're distracted, the call gets routed to voicemail without further vexing you.
NeuroSky is a major player in the medical EEG space already, and they want to break into the mass market. They're also thinking about branching out into cardio monitoring devices for consumer applications. So far, it's all for fun. But using your thoughts and vital signs to control the world around you will quickly become serious business.