Edited by Gabriele La Greca.
What do you think about a wearable device that can read your thoughts? And also understand it and transcribe it autonomously, maybe on your smartphone? At first glance, it might seem like an absolutely wacky idea that will never see the light. Ideas from a lover of futuristic and science fiction technology, on the verge of impossible. Yo can think that similar technologies are being developed, an example is the automatic choice of music based on one’s own thinking.
And this is the idea that we all had when we had followed the F8 of 2017, an annual conference held by Facebook, aimed at developers and entrepreneurs. Mark Zuckerberg announced this completely revolutionary idea, able to read and understand our thoughts in a non-invasive way through a simple wearable.
The first advances from the developers
After a really long time, the project is back to being talked about. The developers behind the project, in fact, published a paper in Nature Communications. In this article, they communicate that they have succeeded in “decoding in real-time a small set of words and complete sentences using human cortical activity”.
Today we’re sharing an update on our work to build a non-invasive wearable device that lets people type just by imagining what they want to say. Our progress shows real potential in how future inputs and interactions with AR glasses could one day look. https://t.co/ilk192GwAR
— Boz (@boztank) July 30, 2019
During the first experiments, the readings turned out to be accurate for 60% of the time. This through the use of brain electrodes on some selected participants. Thus proving that we are able to decode the speech “in an interactive and conversational environment”.
Meanwhile, researchers are also working on a wearable solution, without using electrodes. Currently, the idea is to measure the oxygen levels in the brain. They have already created a device that turns out to be cumbersome and slow, but already reliable.
In the near future, therefore, it will be possible to write messages without holding our smartphone in our hands. This will also allow people with serious illnesses to express themselves without problems.