ATR, a research institute based in Kyoto, Japan, has developed a technology that is supposed to record dreams and thoughts and turn them into images. The subject’s brain is scanned with MRI scanners while looking at still images showing simple figures and letters in black, white and grey. The system then tries to reproduce what the subject sees visually.
Judging from the Reuters video below, the first results aren’t all that great, but knowing the Japanese, the brain scan technology might work really well one day. The next goal is to let the system recreate images that have not been shown to subjects before. Think future mind-reading machines.
Needless to say, the scientists involved in the project are also thinking about using the technology to let us use our gadgets by our thoughts alone, effectively doing away with keyboard and buttons. The ATR is the same lab that helped Honda build its brain machine interface, which lets users control the Honda Robot Asimo by thoughts alone.