Opportuni-Tease #1 - Thought Switches

Walter Derzko wderzko at pathcom.com
Thu Jan 1 14:37:31 EST 1998

Opportuni-Tease #1 - Thought Switches

I'm starting a new weekly posting- Opportuni-Tease to stimulate your

I have a list of recent breakthrough technologies, science concepts and
research that is still in the pilot or lab stages. They have been selected
because they have the potential to "shock" your life, career, job or
business. I think it would be useful to explore  the potential social
impact before these breakthroughs actually hit the market. It would provide
the opportunity to mitigate/redesign any potential negative social impacts
and enhance the positive ones

Please help me in this exploration by addressing the four questions below:
( often asked by Marshal 
McLuhan-from McLuhan's Tetrad model):

This week's  Opportuni-Tease:  
Week #1-The Thought Switches
(see backgrounder below)

1) What does the "thought switch" enhance? promote?

2) What does the "thought switch" make obsolete? leave behind ?

3) What does the "thought switch" retrieve? bring back? 
(Something that was lost/abandoned in some old previously obsolesced

4) Taken to the extreme, what does the "thought switch" flip into? or
reverse into? 
What if everyone is using it?

Your name-
Your email-
Replying from List/Group-


Please reply using the above headings only. Do not change the Subject line
when repying.

Please reply to the news group or list and share your ideas about impacts,
but copy me
at: wderzko at pathcom.com 
if you want  to be credited with anticipating the impact(s) and
to be archived in my new web page (under construction)

Walter Derzko
Director Idea Lab
wderzko at pathcom.com
(next week- Opportuni-Tease #2-Geneotyped Food - The Death of Recommended
Daily Food Guides?)
Backgrounder on Thought Switch 

Following up on basic research work done in British Columbia at Simon
Fraser Univ in the 1980' and early 90's we now get the first commercial
versions of a Thought Switch

"Scientist Uses His Brain to Turn On TV"
Los Angeles Times (12/28/97) P. A13; Harlow, Jarrod

Hidenori Onishi, a research scientist at Technos Japan, jointly developed a
device with the help of the Himeji Institute of Technology that senses
beta-wave brain patterns and converts them into signals used to operate
electrical appliances such as televisions, lights, and doorbells. Inventors
of the "remote-control" device, called the Mind Control Tool Operating
System (MCTOS), say the technology could dramatically change how bedridden,
handicapped, or paralyzed people live. Onishi said MCTOS will target
consumer markets, and cost about $4,800. He believes his brain wave device
will be successful in broader markets because it requires no training.
Onishi's lab version of MCTOS looks like a pair of goggles connected to a
laptop computer. An Associated Press reporter tested MCTOS and mastered the
system quite easily. "The system requires no training by the user, because
the brain waves the  machine responds to are emitted simply by exercising
the will," Onishi explained.

Don Bell <dbell at WHIDBEY.COM> from Cybermind digest  (Jan 1st) writes:

The NTT InterCommunications Center (ICC) at the Tokyo Opera City Center
in Shinjuku, Tokyo, (http://www.ntticc.or.jp I think)  has an exhibit
where museum guests can influence the movements of robotic insects
via brain waves... A visitor puts on headgear which detects beta waves
and uses the signal to control overhead spot lighting intensity. The
lights are directed at solar panels on the backs of the insect-like
robots... (I realized that this would be a far more practical and
efficient way to direct the activities of my personal robot insect
assistants back home in the USA, rather than the cumbersome dataglove
and voice commands I have to use today... They only seem to pay attention
when I yell at them ;-)

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