Spooky Science – Tech or Treat!
A jack-o-lantern drone
Oct 31, 2016

The lines between science fiction and reality continue to blur thanks to technological advances in devices like thermal imaging equipment, 3D printing, and even neural implants. Technology – enabled by clever semiconductors – also plays a role in making celebrations like Halloween more fun and ghoulish, from advances in automation, motion detectors, and IoT devices that enhance the spooky environment to mobile apps and connected security systems that help people stay safe during trick-or-treating outings. Here we’ve gathered a few out-there technologies that could amp up the Halloween experience and perhaps even expand the capabilities of the human mind.

Ghostbusting Tools

Paranormal investigators, sometimes known as ghost hunters, can employ an array of technologies to locate and even capture ghosts. Paranormal activity is measured in part by sudden and drastic changes in environmental conditions, such as variations in temperature, barometric pressure, electromagnetic fields, and static charge. The tech tools used to capture these changes can range from simple audio recorders to more advanced equipment like thermal imagers, motion detectors, full-spectrum cameras, and laser grids. Ghost hunting can be as simple as a click away, now that technologies like thermal imagers that connect directly into smartphones are commercially available. Of course, these are generally used for more common detection purposes such as inspecting homes for energy loss from air leaks or damaged insulation, but one can also try to find ghostly apparitions if one is so inclined.

A man holding a video camera and a thermal imager.


High-Tech Trick-or-Treating

The latest technologies can be used to optimize Halloween in several ways. Instead of dealing with crowded stores to pick out mass-produced costumes, kids (and adults) could avoid the Halloween rush by creating their own costume parts using 3D printing. Mobile apps are available for families to ensure a safe and fun trick-or-treat experience for everyone. Parents can use these to track their children’s whereabouts from afar, and some apps have built-in safety compasses to help guide children home if they get lost while out looking for treats. For homeowners worried about tricks, advances in the IoT world like smart security systems, integrated networks, and other connected home devices and services can help protect their houses on Halloween (and year-round).

A Halloween mask being 3D printed


Haunted Smart House

For those who really get into the Halloween spirit and have home automation features already installed, creating a haunted house experience could be easy as a few taps on your smartphone. Controlling connected home features straight from your mobile device – such as lighting, automatic garage doors, and motion sensors – could make for a spooky night for visiting trick-or-treaters. One home automation firm used its smart technology to fully automate and control an extreme haunted house, with features including a science lab, fog machines, “blood fountains,” and spooky sounds, lights, and music. In the past it would have taken hours to set up these ghostly special effects, but with current technology, this can be done in a matter of minutes.

A haunted barn with jack-o-lanterns in front of it.


Brain Hacking Devices

Brain hacking technology may seem like a plot from a science fiction movie, but research on the possibilities of neural implants is real. Understanding how the brain works has been a constant source of fascination and subject of study for scientists worldwide. Research is already underway on using neural implants to transmit sound, shapes, and movement to the brain to aid deaf and blind people. It’s only a matter of time before technologies using chip implants could affect everything from healthcare to how information is obtained, disseminated, and stored, to even communicating with each other via brain chips. Just imagine: brain chip technology could allow someone to have instant access to the Internet and its almost limitless stores of information, or even to access and connect to another person’s brain. How spooky is that?!

A digital rendering of a human head with 1s and 0s and microchips emanating from the inside.