14 June 2022

Jedi mind tricks are one step closer

The Back Page

But take it easy with that brainwave extraction module.

Controlling matter with your mind: probably the ultimate superpower.

So The Back Page obviously couldn’t resist this paper, entitled “Remotely mind-controlled metasurface via brainwaves”, in which a Chinese team claim to have used brainwaves to manipulate a “metasurface”.

BP has already encountered “metamaterials”, nanostructures with paradoxical properties, and metasurfaces are their 2D equivalent, apparently.

The study, out of the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics And Physics – which is incidentally the benefactor of eLight, the journal in which this study is published – used Bluetooth to connect a “brainwave extraction module” with a programmable metasurface.

We believe the setup looked a bit like this:

The Back Page struggles to use Bluetooth to connect to our Ford Fiesta’s sound system, so this already sounds like a scientific achievement.

We wish we could give this paper the appraisal it’s due. BP also regularly struggles to understand journal articles, let alone in foreign fields such as optics, but usually this is clearly our fault. In this case our intellectual deficits are compounded by the paper’s singular writing style:

“The fundamental framework is actually wire-connected, manually-controlled and non-real-time switched, which levels down their glamour of intellectualization. Therefore, it is fascinating to construct a fundamental framework that can realize remote, wireless, real-time, mind-controlled functional metasurfaces. Moreover, as the initiator, executor or user of metasurfaces, the involvement and participation of human is usually necessary in many scenarios and it is better for human to directly control the metasurface with their mind.”

Ok, we think we got the last dozen words.

At other times the paper is much more lucid: “A prototype was fabricated and tested. The test results verify the mind controllability of such a metasurface.”


“This work can be readily extended to other mind-controlled functional or multi-functional metasurfaces and may find applications in health monitoring, 5G/6G communications, smart sensors, etc,” the authors write.

Health applications are one thing, but putting “5G/6G communications” and “brainwave extraction module” in the same sentence, well it …

If something tweaks the metasurface of your mind, connect with penny@medicalrepublic.com.au.