Using Brain-Wave Technology to … Create Art?

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We pointed and we clicked. Afterward we exploited and we swiped. Siri was spoken to by a few of us, some waved our hands at the Kinect.

Yet the search to control our technology with nominal exertion continued. And however, in 2015, we haven’t quite come up with a system that literally reads our thoughts, we are becoming nearer to one that reacts to our brain waves.

It is a notion that is been on the minds of many for some time now. This past summer, my Yahoo Tech co-worker Dan Tynan endured the present market of products that point to a future in which we can “control things — your telephone, computer, car stereo, game console, lights within your home, and more — using just your ideas.”

Now, the practical applications of the technology stay a tantalizing thought. But brainwave-reading has made the most headway in what’s possibly a field that was astonishing: the artwork.

That may seem such as the exact reverse of “practical,” but even the most out there arty experiments with brainwave technology have a reward beyond creative expression. In a nutshell, they are helping us understand what a “mind-reading” computer interface can actually be — both in its possibility and its own limits.


First, a note of circumstance: What are we really talking about when we talk about brainwave interfaces? It is not quite sci fi as it seems. The brain’s regular procedures — ions and neurons going about their company — result in electric action that medical scientists and others have really been able to quantify and track for decades. The practice of recording this action has the remarkable name electroencephalography (more commonly shortened to EEG). Seen pictures of a man’s head strapped up with an outbreak of wired detectors? That is an EEG set up.

Streamline that mess of wires into a more practical thing, and you’ve something like the “neuroheadsets” made by companies like Emotiv and NeuroSky, among others leading the charge of brainwave control into the consumer marketplace. And once you’ve got a device that could record brain action in the type of information, you’ve got an input signal which can be translated to some kind of output signal.

We are a ways from a scenario in which the captured input signal is as special as “I need to see Broad City,” or “Follow Yahoo Tech on Twitter.” However, as a number of technologists and artists are presenting, it is already possible to do some creative things just using off the shelf brainwave technologies — if, obviously, you set your head to it.

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Samsung’s ATIV Book 9

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When Apple announced the new MacBook, I agreed with the European editor of Mashable Stan Schroeder: It Is not for everybody. I like Apple computers, but I despise the sharp corners and level keys of the new MacBook. But I’m a speed freak and that fanless Intel Core M chip — power frugal as it’s — only may seem to be an absolute joke. I mean, is not it?

Of course I was sent the ATIV Novel 9 with an even poorer central processing unit by Samsung. I chuckled when I opened it up and saw this 12-inch notebook was. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, heck, makes the Book 9 appear morsel-sized.

This itty bitty machine is my new favorite. This is 2015, although it is no workhorse. We’ve got cloud computing, high speed Wifi, and it is high time that we get notebooks which are not really so heavy we do not even feel a tote for them. Because guess what? Low-power computing is in, also it works.

Thin in all of the correct spots
To get a notebook this slim needs more corner cutting than the normal novel, and that’s the Book 9 comes packaged with the low powered Heart M chip; it uses only 5 watts. It is not the same processor in Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and the competitive new MacBook — it is really less strong.

The 900MHz — yes, we are back to megahertz here — processor as well as the miniature connected graphic manage to compress into the “Look mum, I am a graphics tablet” frame.

The Book 9 measures just 0.46-inches thick and weighs in at just over two pounds. That is not thicker in relation to the MacBook Air as well as the new MacBook at their thickest, and only a hair heavier in relation to the latter.

The badly identified Book 9 does not lose anything from losing all that additional girth, except for raw computing power. Thin as it’s, the computer keyboard is scrunched, but completely functional with routine honest to goodness keys. Hey, it comes with the land, although they are quite low profile and offer little journey per key press. Touch typists will adore it, and even in the event you aren’t one, it is still pretty darn great, though it requires some getting used to.

There is little in regards to the Book 9 that isn’t slick. Hell, the colour is even called “Imperial Black.” Unlike Apple, Samsung did not skimp on interfaces either: two USB 3.0 interfaces, a miniature HDMI-out port, an audio out and even a microSD card slot. The entire package is refined, and tidy, clear. The Book 9 is a work of artwork that is technological.

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ENTREVESTOR: P.E.I. entrepreneurs give back with investment

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Ron Keefe is proud that the Charlottetown drug manufacturing company he’s led for 11 years, the sale of BioVectra, is creating two tides of investment into Atlantic Canada.

Tens of millions of dollars will likely be invested in capital improvements at BioVectra during the following couple of years. Plus, the initial owners of the firm are putting together a fund to put money into Atlantic Canadian companies.

Keefe and his Charlottetown-based team sold BioVectra in 2014 to Questcor Pharmaceuticals of Anaheim, Calif., for $100 million.

Entrepreneurs fight to raise investment financing, and raising capital is not particularly easy in Atlantic Canada. That is why his co-workers and Keefe will shortly establish a fresh fund which will put money into assuring businesses that are regional.

Keefe said that BioVectra’s first owners are all P.E.I. individuals who are really excited about having the opportunity to help fellow entrepreneurs.

“The owners have already been able to make use of the net income we have received to reinvest in other companies,” said Keefe, who continues BioVectra’s CEO.

“The sale has also brought BioVectra favorable things, including access to capital,” he said. “We’re in a capital expenditure plan right now. We’ll spend $15 million each year and $30 million this year for the following couple of years.

“We’re hiring staff, obtaining and retrofitting plants we’ve four plants and each one is getting an upgrade.”

Already, the first owners of BioVectra have invested in various science-based companies throughout the Regis Duffy Bioscience Fund, of.

“We have recently made a $1-million investment in Vitrak Systems,” Keefe said. “And in 2016 we mean to develop a fresh $5-million fund to put money into Atlantic Canadian companies.

“We want to help Atlantic Canadian businesses achieve commercialization and help grow the market.”

Keefe did not begin his career in the business world despite really being a passionate entrepreneur.

The P.E.I.-created dad of three first worked in accounting and law. He became an entrepreneur 11 years ago after entrepreneur Regis Duffy, who was at the time a customer of Keefe’s poached from law firm Stewart McKelvey him.

Duffy made Keefe president of Diagnostic Substances, the forerunner of BioVectra.

“You take a leap of faith when leaving a profession you are created in,” Keefe said. “There is trepidation.

“As a lawyer, I Had been exposed to several outstanding entrepreneurs. Folks like Mike Schurman of Schurman Construction and building supplies, and Mike Arnold, who worked on the revitalization of downtown Charlottetown. I felt inspired and expected to be like them.”

Keefe’s transition to entrepreneurship was comparatively easy, although at the time the firm faced financial challenges in growing the business.

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