Hyperventilation may be the new power button. Scientists developing brain computer interfaces (BCIs) for disabled people have had great success with EEG interfaces that allow brain signals to guide the cursor. But they couldn't solve the boot-up problem — the EEG interface just wasn't able to translate "turn on" thoughts into a command. Now researchers in Austria think they've got it solved with EKG heart monitors that can convert human heartbeats into a "power up" signal.

Just hyperventilate, get your heart going fast enough, and the computer will turn on. Apparently they've tested the system on several users and it's working pretty well. Usually I only hyperventilate at my computer when it is turned on and doing something annoying (Firefox on Mac OS ahem), so I'm glad there isn't an EKG power-off command in the works. [New Scientist]


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