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Mind-controlled devices may be next, say experts at CES

Friday, January 7, 2011   (0 Comments)
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Mind-controlled devices may be next, say experts at CES
By Andy Vuong
The Denver Post
Posted: 01/07/2011 01:00:00 AM MSTUpdated: 01/07/2011 09:00:32 AM MST

LAS VEGAS — While technology companies are introducing tablet computers and Internet- connected TVs by the dozen at the International Consumer Electronics Show, perhaps more intriguing are views from leading manufacturers about emerging technologies.

Among them are motion-based, wirelessly charged and mind-controlled computers, TVs and other consumer electronics.

"I believe in mind control," Xavier Lauwaert, worldwide marketing manager for Hewlett-Packard, said Thursday during a panel discussion about the future of user interfaces.

Such technology would be like voice control, only a user would simply need to think of what he wanted a device to do, rather than having to say anything.

"The next revolution of the HP PCs will be mind control," Lauwaert predicted.

For now, the fastest-growing input technology is the touchscreen, with gesture-based devices gaining steam following the success of Microsoft's Xbox Kinect and Nintendo's Wii.

"Touch is probably going to be the predominant alternative-input device in the next five or six years," Lauwaert said.

TV manufacturer LG showed off touch-capable plasma TVs, with the technology essentially turning a 60-inch set into a supersized iPad.

During the user-interface panel, Sony Computer Entertainment senior researcher Richard Marks said mind control has limitations. He believes future user interface will include a combination of buttons and motion- and touch-sensing, depending on the applications.

"There's a lot of interfaces that make the application better because the interface is a part of it," said Marks, who works specifically on Sony's PlayStation console. "Touch for Web browsing . . . feels good. That's why people like it better than the mouse."

General Motors and Powermat, which makes wireless charging stations, announced a partnership that will equip GM's automobiles with Powermat's technology. In 2012, GM

Michelle Rodriguez on Thursday demonstrates how the LG Touch TV works. The CES, held at the Las Vegas Hilton, runs through Sunday. (David Becker, Getty Images )vehicles will feature dashboard technology that can wirelessly charge smartphones and other devices.

GM technology-assessment manager John Suh said during a "powering up without wires" panel discussion that he believes wireless technology will push users toward hands-free talking while driving.

Longer term, GM plans to include wireless sensors and switches in its vehicles to reduce cabling and weight and improve fuel efficiencies.

Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209, avuong@denverpost.com or twitter.com/andyvuong


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