The movie ‘Her’ doesn’t seem to be very far fetched, at least from Dell’s viewpoint. The company’s new research lab works on technologies that might change the way we interact with computers.
Besides mood sensing computers, Dell’s new R&D labs also work on a new type of cloud security based on homomorphic encryption. The company’s goal is to turn these technologies into viable products as quickly as possible. Dell isn’t the only one working on these, as Microsoft is also looking into gesture control and mood sensing computers, while IBM manifested an interest in that type of encryption.
Jai Menon, the head of the new R&D unit, explained in an interview with Business Insider that “Thought-controlled input is a project we started 6 months ago. The notion here is that through some sort of device that you put on, by measuring alpha [brain] waves and so forth, you can actually be able to tell your mood for example: whether your happy or sad. That can then drive the device to, for instance, play music. If you’re sad, it can choose music to cheer you up, for example.”
He also went on to exemplify how the homomorphic encryption would work: “Think about cloud security. What if you want some service done on the cloud, but you don’t want the service to provider to see your data. For instance, a tax computing service. Can they compute your tax without seeing your salary? Well, no. You can encrypt it as you send it on the wire [over the Internet], but the tax provider must see your salary. What if I could encrypt the data in a way they don’t get to see your salary but all of their tax computations still work? I send them encrypted [salary numbers] and they do the addition and send back to you, and you decrypt, only you can. And magically you see [the tax number that you owe.]”
Menon pointed out that Dell’s labs are planning to turn both of these technologies into tangible things that we can all use. Given how quickly they progress, it shouldn’t take long till we’ll have access to thought controlled computers, just like the one Joaquin Phoenix’s character fell in love with in the movie ‘Her’. As far as the new encryption is concerned, adding a new layer of security to our cloud data is always a welcome thing.
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