The first edition of TechTalks050 finally came to light on 15 April in restaurant and meeting place DOT, in which science and practice came together. An evening that has ‘Brain Inspired Computing’ as its theme deserves a proper opening; this was realized in the form of a full-dome video journey through the human brain.
Prof. Niels Taatgen took the podium first and discussed Neuromorphic Computing and the new generation of computers that CongiGron is working on. He argued that current computer technologies are reaching the limits of their possibilities regarding speed and energy-efficiency. In contrast, the brain – which can be seen as a kind of computer – uses only 25 watts and is quite efficient. Researchers are therefore looking at how the neurons of our brains function and what favourable properties our brains possess. The results are looking promising for the development of the smart and energy-efficient computer of the future.
Next, Jan Jonk, co-founder and Interaction & Game Designer of GainPlay, showed us how he uses Brain Computer Interfaces in the development of computer games that can be controlled using brain activity. One of the things he discussed was the hands-free game ‘Daydream’, which measures the user’s level of relaxation using a headset. In this game, you travel through the seasons and once you arrive in the summer season, you have to try to remain in it for as long as possible, which can be achieved by remaining relaxed. According to Jonk, this can help bedridden people, for example, to stimulate their mental alertness. Jonk also showed the EEG headsets that are currently on the market and the possibilities and limitations that these devices offer and have.
The following question round was met with enthusiasm, with a nice mix of both scientific and more practical questions. The interaction both on stage and in the audience was interesting because both Niels Taatgen and Jan Jonk answered questions. Rian, the host of TechTalks050, also took a moment to thank the speakers and the audience of over 120 people. The drinks reception afterwards offered a nice opportunity to ask some remaining burning questions to one of the speakers, or to do some networking.
The next edition will take place on 17 June. Bert Otten, Professor of Neuromechanics and Prosthetics, will speak about his research on new artificial joints and their applications in top-level sports through the use of digital technologies. He will take us on a journey that follows the evolution of mechanisms. Have you signed up to the mailing list? If so, you will receive an invitation as soon as the ticket sale has started.
See you at TechTalks050!
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