Those clever researcher folks at MIT are at it again, and this time they're building a headset that will allow people to talk to computers using their mind.
The system, known as AlterEgo, currently takes the form of a white headset that hooks around the ear and then sits on the jawline of the face. Instead of using microphones and earpieces, it relies on four electrodes that scan the jaw and face to detect neuromuscular signals. These are apparently the signals that a person produces when they think about verbalizing words without actually saying them. That is a practice commonly known as subvocalization.
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The device functions as a microphone for the computer, with a pair of bone conduction headphones transmitting the sounds to the wearer directly to the inner ear.
The hope is that the unique wearable could prove useful in such scenarios as illustrated in the video above. That apparently includes replacing a remote control to interact with your favourite streaming service, or calculating the cost of your shopping as you walk through the aisles throwing stuff into your shopping basket.
Arnav Kapur, lead on the AlterEgo, said the motivation was to build an IA device or an intelligent augmentation device that combines humans and computers to create a 'second self'. So, using your mind to communicate could do away with typing passwords, for instance. Now what a world that would be.
As far as AlterEgo becoming a reality, Kapur and his team are still collecting data and have carried out tests on a small number of subjects that showed a 92% accuracy. We think something might have to be done about that design as well before we accept walking around with this mind-reading tech.
Source: New Atlas