Future of Mobile: Thought Recognition?

After touch, voice and gesture recognition, will thought recognition be the next big thing in mobile? Nokia thinks it is possible. Imagine using the power of your mind to dial your mom's number or type a text inviting your friends to a weekend party. That would be awesome, right?

Power of Mind

Ian Delaney of Nokia Conversations wrote "Jedi Mind Tricks: Unreliable thoughts on the future of using mobiles", newsletter of which was sent to me by Nokia today, June 18th, via email.

I would like to share to you an excerpt of Delaney's blog on this particular subject - thought recognition for mobile. Here it goes.
Anyway, at the beginning of the week, we reported the launch of the Nokia X5. One of the things to catch my eye was the 'shake to see new messages' mechanic that's built in. It’s perhaps a feature aimed mainly at younger heads than mine, but while it doesn't immediately appeal to me, it is a very new way to control your phone. It's haptic beyond touch."

"Gesture recognition is all the rage at the moment, thanks to the Nintendo Wii, Playstation Eye-Toy, and now Microsoft Kinect. We might wave hello to answer a call, or use two fingers to drop one. Maybe that sounds like a bit too much effort, though."

"I've never been much of a fan of voice controls. They've been installed in phones for yonks, but I've never seen anyone use them 'in the wild', apart from to show off. Apparently, though, the science of speech recognition has been stalled for some time: it hit about 80 per cent accuracy at the turn of the century, but the remaining 20 per cent is so difficult that none of the recent advances in computer power have been able to make much impact on the problem."

"But the one I'm really waiting for is thought recognition. This isn't science fiction any more. Toy manufacturer Mattel released a thought-controlled game at the beginning of last year. Apparently, you have to think quite hard with the current model, though, and I can appreciate that finding numbers in your phone book might be a tad more sophisticated a task than making a ping-pong ball go up a tube. But it's got to be possible. We’re going to have to become much more disciplined thinkers in the future, though. ‘Accidentally’ dropping a call from your boss half-way through his list of instructions or ‘mistakenly’ phoning your ex-girlfriend in the middle of the night could make for some very sticky moments."
It's a fantastic idea. Mattel thought and materialized it first but for a toy, not for mobile.

So if Nokia can put thought recognition on their future products ahead of the rest, the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, in my opinion, will kill their competition.