We live in an era where the most outlandish childhood fantasies are no longer impossible. As kids (assuming you are not one anymore!) we all had wild imaginations and big dreams. I remember mine often involved amazing creatures and some sort of super powers, like being able to see through walls or move objects just by staring at them.

Today, thanks to virtual reality and augmented reality, having ‘super powers’ is becoming increasingly feasible - it's possible to fly around a city on the back of a dragon or walk with fairies. Of course it’s not real, but it looks and feels real!

Technologies that monitor brain activity like electroencephalogram (EEG)are now massively accessible and IOT (Internet Of Things) is no longer just a geek's buzzword. And what we’re able to do with these technologies is incredibly exciting. Here at IBM we have used some leading edge technology and some of our own technologies to move a Star Wars BB8 droid, and I am thrilled to be able to showcase it at Future Realities for New Zealand Tech Week.

How does it work? A headset known as ‘Emotiv Insite’ captures brainwaves from the user and, after some training, maps these to specific actions (or programmable activities). Once a thought is captured by this software, it can then be used in the real-digitised world.

We then used IBM Watson Internet of Things to connect … things. The platform is capable of connecting millions of disparate devices in any location around the globe. In our demonstration we will show this in a simple but powerful way, using a person’s thought to make the BB8 droid move.

It is quite extraordinary and is already make this big kid’s dream become reality.



Giovanni Vigorelli, software technical specialist IBM New Zealand