November 14, 2011
Some hobbyist hackers have rigged up an iPhone 4S to collect brain wave patterns from some simple ECG pads, translate them into synthesized speech, which is in turn pumped through the 3.5 mm headphone jack, and recognized by Siri as a usable command. Besides pressing the home key to initiate Siri, all you have to do is think your command, and your iPhone 4S will hop to it. The engineers expect that they’ll even be able to eliminate the need to press the home key, making it fully automatic. So far, the guys at Project Black Mirror have been able to link 25 brain wave patterns to specific Siri commands. Of course, right now the project is a bulky Arduino test board hooked up to a Macbook, which also occupies the headphone jack, and makes the user look like he belongs in Clockwork Orange, but these guys are putting up a Kickstarter page shortly to get funding and turn this thing into a real product.
I guess I should say this would be pretty easy to fake, but when Siri was announced I told my sister-in-law in ten years Siri would be in our heads. Maybe I was too pessimistic. Here’s the Black Mirror blog, so you can follow along.