November 19, 2007

Brain-Computer Interface and Enterprise Architecture

The Wall Street Journal, week of 24 September 2007 reports that research is being done to develop brain-computer interfaces to help “people who are fully conscious, but paralyzed on account of disease or spinal-cord injuries.”

For paralyzed people, this technology could mean a fiber optic cable connecting the brain to the arms or legs to trigger movement. Unfortunately, the technology is still primitive.

Other applications are for people to be able to control computers “using only their thoughts.” Replacing the traditional mouse and keyboard, would be telepathy (“brain computer control”)—how cool is that!

In User-centric EA, such an advance would be significant for users in just about any enterprise. Imagine how brain control of computer technology would change the way we do everyday tasks: forget about going from wired to wireless, now we’re talking about going to user interface-less! No more typing, pushing buttons, right-clicking, left-clicking, rolling the mouse, manipulating the joystick, or even voice activated commands. Just think it (maybe a little more than that – maybe you have to concentrate) and poof, the technology responds just the way it would with all the other stuff we now have to do with our fingers.

And let’s not forget another big advantage: no more (or much less) carpal tunnel syndrome; although possibly more headaches and maybe even migraines (depending on how much we have to concentrate for the brain-computer interface to work).

Anyway, all kidding aside, while I would not write this technology into the target architecture of my agency quite yet, it is inspiring and thought-provoking to have this “vision” on the radar. And it is exciting to imagine the possibilities.


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