Muscle Computer Interface
Muscle-computer interfaces have been around for some years but have only begun to develop into a separate interface paradigm relatively recently. Using a similar approach to brain-machine interfaces, muscle based interfaces detect the electrical signals just under the skin as muscles move, and use this to guide actions.
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A PDF released by Microsoft Research, entitled ?Demonstrating the Feasibility of Using Forearm Electromyography for Muscle-Computer Interfaces? details the science behind utilising muscle control as an alternative, viable input system to gesture recognition or spoken commands.
PDF size: 1 meg
In 2008, Caltech researchers are working on developing a MEMS-based (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) brain-computer interface, with initial designs proving promising, and holding the potential to overcome the signal degradation problem.
Meshworm is the prototype proof of concept for a new type of artificial muscle, based on an in-depth study of the movement patterns of the common earthworm, and shows how it is possible to create a 'soft' robot or prosthetic that is basically a single muscle and very little else.
Mimi Switch, a Japanese muscle monitoring device, has an interesting premise. It looks like a normal set of headphones but is fitted with a set of infrared sensors that measure tiny movements inside the ear that result from different facial expressions.
A Journal of the American Medical Association study looked at targeted muscle re-innervation to see if it did indeed have as much success as studies conducted by those with a vested interest in a positive result.
A novel interface paradigm computer, the QB1 is the brainchild of one Fr?d?ric Kaplan, an engineer with a background in robotic systems for Sony. He worked with designer Martino d?Esposito of EPFL in France, to create a computer system with no mouse, no keyboard, just an on/off switch, and the ability to recognise and respond to gestures.
In an augmented world, you may well have one or more of three distinct types of computer interface on, or even in your body. There are augmenting reality devices, prosthetic components, and direct-wired virtual reality interfaces. All three share aspects in common. Among them, that they all require considerable computing power as close to the implant as possible.
Virtual Reality: The Revolutionary Technology of Computer-Generated Artificial Worlds - and How It Promises to Transform Society
This book, by author and renowned VR expert Howard Rhinegold, was first published in 1991 ? nearly twenty years ago. All those years back, Rhinegold still managed to predict VR applications that are only just being realised today. Walking through computer mediated environments, with the power of physical legs; having targeted muscle re-enervation provide the neural connectivity of physical legs if you have none. Doctors treating patients remotely, or operating on precise mock-ups of patients before they lay eyes on them for the first time. Touring buildings, rendered in 3D, from blueprints alone.
Technology Review has assembled an itinerary of the most revolutionary mainstream computer interfaces of the past, current times and anticipated for near future. Nothing to surprise here. The list contains 10 interface methods, and surprisingly, vanilla VR did not make the list.
We are just on the cusp of an age of visemes in virtual environments. Lip-synching technologies have advanced to the point where, given an input text stream, and knowing the language of said stream - how to pronounce the phonemes - a computer program can animate a virtual face with a compatible muscle structure, at the same time as it is converting text to speech.
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Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have turned back the clock on mature muscle tissue, coaxing it back to an earlier stem cell stage to form new muscle. Moreover, they showed in mice that the newly reprogrammed muscle st...
Simon Fraser University associate professor James Wakeling is adding to the arsenal of increasingly sophisticated medical imaging tools with a new signal-processing method for viewing muscle activation details that have never been seen befo...
Researchers from the University of Sheffield in England, the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) in the UK, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France have overcome the problems inherent...
A study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, has identified critical biochemical pathways linked to the aging of human muscle. By manipulating these pathways, the researchers were able to turn back the clock on old ...
The X Prize Foundation recently announced that it's working on a new contest that will be offering $10 million to the winner to develop a breakthrough in brain-to-computer interface (BCI) technology. If the foundation comes up with adequat...