Siri uses your voice to perform its tasks, but what about taking it to the next level by using your mind to control Siri? If you think that’s some sort of science fiction movie in the making, think again as some hackers have managed to find a way to get Siri to working simply by thinking out their commands.This is accomplished by hooking up ECG pads to the user, collecting their brain waves and translating them into synthesized speech, which in turn is transmitted through the 3.5mm headphone jack and will be recognized by Siri as a command.
“1. ECG pads provide raw skin conductivity / electrical activity as analogue data (0-5v).
2. This is plugged into the Arduino board via 4 analogue inputs (no activity = 0v, high activity = 5v).
3. The Arduino has a program burnt to it’s EPROM chip that filters the signals.
4. Josh trained the program by thinking of the main Siri commands (“Call”, “Set”, “Diary” etc.) one at a time and the program where we captured the signature brain patterns they produce.
5. The program can detect the signature patterns that indicate a certain word is being thought of. The program will then wait for a natural ‘release’ in brain waves and assume the chain of commands is now complete and action is required.
6. The series of commands are fed to a SpeakJet speech synthesiser chip
7. The audio output of which simply plugs into the iPhone’s microphone jack.”
At the moment the project (dubbed Project Black Mirror) is kind of bulky. It requires an Arduino board and a MacBook, which means that this is by no means convenient or portable, but the guys at Project Black Mirror are attempting to turn it into an actual product. Should this work out and it gets put into production, it looks like Siri will no longer have trouble working with anyone with an accent it has yet to recognize! For more information you can head on down to their website, or check out the videos below to see it in action.
Update 11/14: Industry observers (and some commenters here like Philip Galanter) are pointing out that the hardware setup doesn’t add up and that this is in fact a hoax.