Nervetapping Headband Used For Voiceless Phone Call Demo
March 13, 2008 3:17 PM
comment(s) - last by
Michael Callahan shows of the Audeo speech digitizer at the Texas Instruments convention. The device creates speech from nerve signals to your vocal cords, without you having to make a sound; and it fits snuggly with a suitcoat.
(Source: New Scientist)
It's not psychic, it's science; tapping into the inner voice of the human mind may be getting a lot closer than some think
NeuroSky all releasing "brain mice"
for consumer consumption, 2008 seems to be the
year of brain control
. Furthering the theme, new groundbreaking research has been carried out in which an electronic "nerve tapper" reads signals to vocal cords and digitally voices the user's thoughts without a single word uttered by the user.
Ambient Corporation, an electronics startup, developed the device called
, recently showcased at a Texas Instruments conference. The Audeo takes advantage of the fact that you can mentally picture voicing words, sending signals to your vocal cords, without physically voicing the word. With training, a person can send these signals with ease. These soundless signals are then picked up by Ambient's neckband which scans the vocal cord nerves. The device wirelessly transmits the results to a computer, which processes them and yields digitized speech.
The Audeo does not vocalize all your thoughts, which a relief to some people who might fear it would reveal their fantasies or sarcastic observations. It only vocalizes thoughts you concentrate on sending to your vocal cords. The Audeo was used at the conference to carry out a telephone conversation. It can also be used to control wheelchairs, through intuitively "voiced" directional commands. This ability, which could help disabled people, was demonstrated earlier.
Ambient co-founder, Michael Callahan, discusses how the device requires a "a level above thinking" to activate, explaining, "I can still talk verbally at the same time. We can differentiate between when you want to talk silently, and when you want to talk out loud."
Such a feature could be used to help people make private calls in public location. Callahan likens the device, which is still in a rather primitive state to early
speech recognition software
. The Audeo currently recognizes only 150 words and phrases. At the end of the year Ambient plans to release a new version, which recognizes phonemes, the components of words, allowing it to do away with the word limit. Input to the new version will be slow as users will have to mentally voice each phoneme, and it won't sound like natural speech.
Still it may be very helpful for people who can't speak due to muscle or neurological conditions such as ALS, also known as motor neurone disease. It could also be used for translation purposes -- imagine having a fluid soundless translation, without ever voicing your native tongue.
While the device in its current state offers up no threat of someone reading your thoughts against your will, the device does lead to the occasional paranoid pondering on how long it will take for full fledged mind-reading devices are employed by intelligence agencies worldwide. The future of mind controlled electronics is sure to lead to these and many other tough issues.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Earlier publication of the same basic technique
3/27/2008 4:09:10 PM
This isn't exactly new in concept. The second paragraph of the Summary of the 1975 report by Dr Lawrence Pinneo entitled "Feasibility Study for Design of a Biocybernetic Communication System", published at
clarifies that subvocalised word recognition from the electrical activity of the muscles of the vocal apparatus had been demonstrated by 1972.
It must be at least three years ago that New Scientist ran a different story about another thought-operated telephone.
These stories serve a useful purpose for those who have less benign applications in mind, or already underway though poorly publicised. They act a "kite-flying" exercises, to test how threatening to human rights technology can become before the general public start raising ethical questions.
There is no a priori reason why, by adjustment of sensitivity, the technology reported cannot be abused to perpetrate non-consensual thought inference.
+44 7930 519793
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
OCZ Prepares to Ship $300 Brain Mouse
March 3, 2008, 12:00 PM
Neurosky Launches MindSet Neural Input Device
February 25, 2008, 4:18 PM
Emotiv Set To Deploy First Consumer PC Brain Driven Controller
February 20, 2008, 4:46 PM
OCZ Mind Controlled Gamer Mouse Nears Production
January 17, 2008, 2:57 PM
How Far Are We From Babel Fish?
April 9, 2006, 11:45 PM
Air Force Expects to Save Over $50 Million in 10 Years by Using iPads
May 17, 2013, 12:26 PM
Former Intel CEO Regrets Passing Up on iPhone Gravy Train
May 17, 2013, 11:46 AM
Intel-Based Lenovo Yoga 11 Lands, is $240 USD More Expensive Than ARM Version
May 17, 2013, 11:02 AM
Galaxy S IV Looks to Hit 10 Million Sales in Just Four Weeks
May 17, 2013, 10:12 AM
Nintendo Wii U: No EA Games for You!
May 17, 2013, 8:35 AM
Quick Note: CyanogenMod Hits 5 Million Users
May 16, 2013, 1:42 PM
Most Popular Articles
Report: Microsoft Eyes Return to "Dying" Windows 7 Path After Windows 8 Flop
May 13, 2013, 9:50 AM
Windows 8.1 Will Be Free; Microsoft Holds Onto Struggling ARM Variant
May 14, 2013, 2:57 PM
Bill Gates Gets Teary-Eyed While Discussing Steve Jobs, Shows Off Life-Saving Tech on 60 Minutes
May 13, 2013, 12:30 PM
Google Announces "Pure" Galaxy Nexus S4 for $649, Android Updates
May 15, 2013, 1:42 PM
Google's Eric Schmidt: "Don't Be Evil" was Stupid
May 14, 2013, 11:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013, 7:16 AM
Apple's iOS 7 Running Into Internal Delays Due to Massive Overhaul
May 1, 2013, 4:26 PM
Elon Musk Willing to Spend More Money on Widening of 405 Freeway
Apr 26, 2013, 7:28 PM
New $100 Bill Due in October
Apr 24, 2013, 11:52 PM
Volkswagen Shows off iBeetle in Shanghai
Apr 22, 2013, 9:29 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information