A computer capable of reading your mind may sound like science fiction, but it's rapidly becoming reality. Researchers at Microsoft
The list of possible applications is almost endless. Sony
Longer-term, such a technology might be able to simplify our interactions with computers. For example, it's been suggested that by measuring a person's concentration level, a computer could tell whether its user was confused and needed assistance. (Hopefully not from anything so annoying as Microsoft's notorious animated paper clip.)
The technology might also help a variety of household items. For instance, if pressing a button on a TV remote is too taxing for the average citizens of the future, they could merely think their way across the spectrum of channels. I just hope my two kids never get their hands on such technology -- the fights over what they want to watch would be horrendous.
Mind-reading technology could also complement advances in robotics. Researchers at the University of Washington, right in Microsoft's backyard, have already demonstrated that they can rudimentally control a robot by thought alone. Bill Gates has made no secret of his intention to make his company a major player in robotics, and if his software can be used to make iRobot's