Browser boosts brain interface

June 4/11, 2003

Georgia State University researchers have come up with a Web browser that allows people to surf just by thinking.

Previous research has shown that it is possible to move a cursor by controlling neural activity. The researchers' BrainBrowser Internet software is designed to work with the limited mouse movements neural control allows.

The browser window is divided into an upper section that resembles a traditional browser and a lower control section. Common controls like "Home", "Refresh", "Print" and "Back" are grouped in the left-hand corner and provide feedback. When a user focuses his attention on a button, it becomes highlighted, and when the user successfully focuses on clicking the button, it emits a low tone.

The right side of the control section displays links contained in the current Web page. This allows the user to more easily scan and click the links.

The researchers are working on a virtual keyboard with word prediction technology that will allow users to enter URLs.

The technology will be ready for practical communications applications in two to five years, according to the researchers. They presented the work at the Association of Computing Machinery Computer-Human Interaction (ACM-CHI) conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 5-10, 2003. -TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH NEWSc

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