News ID: 173944
Published: 0247 GMT December 17, 2016

Kids could soon use power of thought to play with their toys

Kids could soon use power of thought to play with their toys

It sounds like a horror film script, but children could soon be playing with their Christmas toys using the power of thought.

Scientists said the next generation of Scalextric sets, remote controlled cars and helicopters, along with toy robots, will be mind controlled, according to

They say the must-have gifts of the future will come with sensors in headsets that receive 'brain waves' and feed them into electrical circuits.

Technology developed by British researchers allows devices to be activated using neuronal impulses that connect our thoughts to computerized systems.

This could be based on levels of concentration — thinking of your favorite color or stroking your dog, for example.

Instead of a hand-held controller, a headset is used to create a brain-computer interface — a communication link between the brain and the computerized device.

Sensors in the headset measure the electrical impulses from brain at various different frequencies — each frequency can be somewhat controlled, under special circumstances.

This activity from alpha waves, one of five types produced by the brain that correspond to concentration and relaxation levels, is then processed by a computer, amplified and fed into the electrical circuit of the electronic toy.

Instead of using a normal handheld controller players can make a car, for instance, go faster simply by concentrating harder.

Professor Christopher James, of the University of Warwick , says the technology has great potential for the future.

"Whilst brain-computer interfaces already exist — there are already a few gaming headsets on the market — their functionality has been quite limited.

"New research is making the headsets now read cleaner and stronger signals than ever before — this means stronger links to the toy, game or action thus making it a very immersive experience.

"The exciting bit is what comes next — how long before we start unlocking the front door or answering the phone through brain-computer interfaces?"

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