Microsoft says that it is hard to properly evaluate the way people interact with computers since questioning them at the time is distracting and asking questions later may not produce reliable answers. "Human beings are often poor reporters of their own actions," the company says. Instead, Microsoft wants to read the data straight from the user's brain as he or she works away. They plan to do this using electroencephalograms (EEGs) to record electrical signals within the brain. The trouble is that EEG data is filled with artifacts caused, for example, by blinking or involuntary actions, and this is hard to tease apart from the cognitive data that Microsoft would like to study. So the company has come up with a method for filtering EEG data in such a way that it separates useful cognitive information from the not-so-useful non-cognitive stuff. The company hopes that the data will better enable to them to design user interfaces that people find easy to use. Whether users will want Microsoft reading their brain waves is another matter altogether.
Source: New Scientist