Current intelligent virtual assistants have the limitation of activation primarily through voice input. Implementing mind-controlled systems with smartphone applications enhances the human-to-machine interaction with voice assistants in use cases where speech input is not available.
Modern usage of virtual assistants such as the iPhone Siri have increased consumer interest in using speech recognition and text-to-speech to perform a variety of tasks on the smartphone. While this technology has generated appeal as an alternative approach to human-to-machine interaction, a growing number of individuals have found these speech recognition systems to be frustrating to use, especially systems that fully require the user to initiate commands through voice only. Users with speech challenges may find it especially difficult to benefit from these voice assistants. This thesis proposes that speech recognition systems can be enhanced by implementing methods for initiation of actions and communication through mind-controlled brainwave systems. As a proof of concept, a prototype system will be created which allows users to control a limited number of actions by processing EEG brainwave signals from the user through a wearable sensor headset paired with the user’s smartphone. This system will allow users to use their thoughts to initiate actions on their phone without the use of hands or voice.
A mind-controlled virtual assistant will be enable individuals to perform a number of basic functions on the device which would normally require touch methods or voice to perform. Opening new views, maps, playing a video and making a phone calls using brainwave commands will enhance the way users interact with virtual assistants by providing users with an alternative method of interaction. By harnessing the power of the mind to control smartphone devices, users will discover deeper cognitive integration with virtual assistants and possibly benefit from the personal communication with these machines.