Mind-Reader Machine Lets You Type With Your Brain

Mind-Reader Machine Lets You Type With Your Brain

Mind-Reader Machine Lets You Type With Your Brain

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June 29 2012 3:34 PM

Mind-Reader Machine Lets You Type With Your Brain

Mind Reading
A new invention created by scientists in the Netherlands allows a person to type just by thinking.

mikhail malyugin

Scientists have created a technology that could have huge implications for people like Stephen Hawking—and pretty much everyone else, too.

Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands claim they have successfully created a mind-reading machine that will allow the user to type letters and words, just by thinking. It could be the first real-time thought-translating communication system ever invented, and if it as easy to set up and operate as its creators say it is, the mind-reader could change everything from medicine for severely motor-impaired patients to the way all of us interact with technology.

Published this week in Current Biology, the paper describes the method, which uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to analyze blood moving through gray matter in a patient’s brain, while they look at letters and think of something specific. Once the imaging is complete, the patient can effectively spell out words by thinking—a pretty amazing feat.

Whether you’re a braniac like Hawking, or just incredibly lazy, this is amazing news. Look Ma, no hands!

Video by Jim Festante.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.