Siri, the voice-activated intelligent assistant might have made waves when it made its debut inside the iPhone 4S last month, but a group of DIY hackers think the voice technology is already old technology. The group’s Siri hack, called Project Black Mirror, takes Siri to the next level by activating it using only your thoughts.
The technology behind Project Black Mirror, like many popular DIY hacks, centers around an Arduino microcontroller chip. EEG pads attached to the skin transfer brain activity to the Arduino, which is responsible for filtering the signals and associating patterns with certain words and Siri commands. The words are combined into phrases to form a complete Siri command, and the entire command phrase is fed to a speech synthesizer chip which audibly recites the command through the iPhone 4S’s microphone jack.
So far, the Project Black Mirror team has successfully been able to link 25 brain wave patterns to various Siri functions, although currently much of the interpretation is done through a MacBook in addition to the Arduino controller. In addition to making the project less bulky, the team is also seeking a way to fully automate the process (currently, the user has to press and hold the iPhone’s home button to activate Siri).
Right now a thought-controlled Siri may seem more like a novelty, however, brain wave technology combined with Siri’s powerful natural speech translation could have some great potential applications for the disabled. In fact, Project Black Mirror recently secured Kickstarter approval to raise funding for a commercial product, so keep watching (or ask Siri to make a reminder) for this potential game changer!
Here’s a video demo of co-creator Josh channeling his thoughts to command Siri to make a phone call:
More info: Project Black Mirror Blog
(hat tip: 9to5Mac)