Remember the Force Trainer Star Wars headset? It was a children’s toy, of course, but one that came with the added benefit of helping them focus on one task at the time. By reading the concentration levels, it tracked the users’ progress to complete a challenge. Back then, we wished it could do more – read our minds, perhaps. Well, now, MIT researchers made that fantasy a reality. Their latest project can hear your thoughts!
As magical as that sounds, it’s really “just” a work of… science. The trick is subvocalization. You know, the practice of vocalizing thoughts without leaving your mind or reading silently but hearing the words written. This exercise can be interpreted correctly by a wearable build by MIT.
It was constructed with electrodes that can pick up the neuromuscular signals transmitted during subvocalization. Also, it uses bone-conduction headphones that are aware of the vibrations delivered by the bones of your inner ear. It’s mind-blowing, right?!
All those signals are then sent to a neural network that can make sense of them and translate them into words.
So far, the MIT device was tested in easy, fun interactions with computers, asking for the time or while playing chess. Its potential applications are far wider and much cooler, though. Especially after the design is tweaked and the mind-reader becomes smaller and easier to conceal.