This is not a new field of study–the idea of transmitting neural activity to a PC or robot that then follows your commands–but it is new enough, as is this recent study done by researchers looking to map how the brain learns to use this technology.

Nature World News

The researchers were able to piggyback on top of the medical procedures and while the physicians watched for signs of a seizure, they asked patients to move a mouse cursor on a computer screen using only their thoughts.

Electrodes on their brains then picked up the signals directing the cursor to move, sending them to an amplifier and then a laptop to be analyzed. Sure enough, within 40 milliseconds, the computer calculated the intentions transmitted through the signal and translated them into the movement of the cursor on the screen.

As researchers learn more about how the brain interacts and learns with this kind of technology it could be possible to implant or wear a device that allows you to think something, just like you do now, and have some external device respond accordingly after just a bit of mental exercise.  Amputees could learn to tell their robotic limbs to move the way we instruct our own natural appendages to do so now.    Interacting with a PC, or any wireless device would be a matter of thinking about what you want and having it happen.  In theory at least.

There is not much of a limit to the number of applications for such a device from helping the handicapped to military, manufacturing, bio-tech, almost anything where you want to decrease the interface time between a user and a device.  So stay tuned.  A few years from now that static in your head could be actual static.  And you might just need a software update.  Who knows.