There’s a Brain-App for That

I was at FenCon over the weekend, and in a panel on embedded (or implanted) computers, the question was raised: what application would you want that doesn’t exist now? That is, if you had some kind of computer implanted in your brain, what would you want it to do for you that you can’t do right now without it?

Here are a few possible answers, some my own and some from other people in the room:

Who Are You? I’d want something to do facial recognition on the person in front of me and remind me who they are, how I know them, and what subjects to avoid when talking to them. It’s not just a matter of remembering the name, because even if I can remember that his name is Bob, it would be nice to know that we met at Jim’s bachelor party – you know, the one with the orangutan stripper – and that it would be best to duck and hide in shame. Or if I can’t hide, I should at least know better than to bring up sailing ships lest I be cornered into a two-hour dissertation on the superiority of the jib sail over the genoa sail.

Dream-vo: This is the DVR for your dreams. No longer do you need to scramble for pen and paper to jot down details of that crazy dream. You don’t even need to wake up. Just replay it the next morning and fast forward to the part with the flying dolphins.

IMDB Brain Search: The Internet Movie Database is a very useful site, but even if you have it on your smart phone, it doesn’t really help when you’re talking about that movie, with the guy… you know, the one with the blonde hair, and they had that sparkly thing with the handle? Yeah, that’s the one. It would also be nice in that you could immediately know where you’ve seen that actor before. Of course, playing “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” will never be the same again.

Where Are My Damned Keys? A brain implant won’t keep you from leaving your keys behind the toaster, but with enough input monitoring 24/7, it should at least be able to tell you where they are. And your favorite pen, your glasses, your left sneaker, the good scissors, and the remote control. Of course, if the kids took them, this suddenly becomes a network application.

Too Boring; Didn’t Listen: I think we’ve all run into that wall of text that was simply too long to read. Hence the phrase tl;dr (too long; didn’t read). Whenever I’ve run into that, I’ve wanted a little tool to read it, present me with a summary, and give some kind of guesstimate of whether or not it was worth the number of electrons that died for it. (Yes, I know electrons don’t die – they only wish they could.) But if I had a computer implant, I’d want one of those for audio. Remember that guy who went on for two hours about jibs vs. genoas? Too boring; didn’t listen. How about the app that filters it all and says, “Jibs handle better when tacking.”

So, how about you? What’s your favorite iBrain app?