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MIT’s Radical Wearable Gadget Lets You Silently Communicate With A Computer
By Yoon Sann Wong, 07 Apr 2018
Image by Lorrie Lejeune/MIT (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
As if technology wasn’t ubiquitous enough, a groundbreaking new wearable gadget has been introduced by MIT that aims to “combine humans and computers.”
‘AlterEgo’ is a device you can wear on your face that lets you silently communicate with a computing device through subvocalization—the practice of quietly saying words in your head, commonly experienced when you read.
The system comprises electrodes that pick up neuromuscular signals, which get triggered when you subvocalize, as well as a bone-conduction headphone that utilizes vibrations sent to the bones of your inner ear.
These signals are delivered to a computer that uses neural networks to transcribe the words. Thus far, the technology has been used for more casual activities, such as distinguishing the correct time, and while playing chess to identify optimal counter moves with the computer’s help.
Arnav Kapur, graduate student at the MIT Media Lab, who spearheaded this system’s development, explained on MIT’s website, “The motivation for this was to build an IA device — an intelligence-augmentation device.”
“Our idea was: Could we have a computing platform that’s more internal, that melds human and machine in some ways and that feels like an internal extension of our own cognition?”
Watch how it works in the video below.
[via Engadget and MIT, video via MIT Media Lab, images via video screenshot]
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