Scientist Tests ‘iBrain’ Headband Which Can Read Thoughts

Scientist Tests ‘iBrain’ Headband Which Can Read Thoughts
World
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Professor Stephen Hawking is testing a tiny – two penny-sized – device that could, just possibly, allow him to ‘speak again’ – reading his thoughts directly from his brain. The gizmo, invented by Dr Philip Low, CEO of California-based NeuroVigil, was designed for sleep monitoring, but it may also be able to help people to convey messages merely by thinking them.

The device ‘reads’ brain wave patterns – and has been tested by renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking, who is paralysed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

‘We’d like to find a way to bypass his body, pretty much hack his brain,’ the company’s founder, Philip Low, told KGTV San Diego. 


Dr Low told The New York Times: ‘The iBrain can collect data in real time in a person’s own bed, or when they’re watching TV, or doing just about anything.

‘The idea is to see if Stephen can use his mind to create a consistent and repeatable pattern that a computer can translate into, say, a word or letter or a command for a computer.’

The paper explained that the algorithm used by iBrain, which Dr Low calls ‘Spears’, was indeed able to translate Professor Hawking’s thoughts into individual signals.

Dr Low plans on making further investigations into this aspect of the iBrain’s capabilities, but in the meantime, it’s being used as one of the most effective diagnostic tools for sleep researchers money can buy.

The science for such a development looks promising.

Last summer Dr Low flew to Cambridge, England, and personally tested the device on Hawking. 


ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has left the astrophysicist almost entirely unable to control his body. He moves and communicates in painfully slow fashion, using an infrared scanner that picks up tiny twitches in his cheek muscles and translates them into words with complex computer programs. 


But Hawking, 70, is losing his ability to use even those muscles as his disorder advances.

Fitted with the iBrain device, which is a black headband with a series of neurotransmitters that sit against the cranium, Hawking was told to concentrate hard on several simple actions, such as forming his hand into a fist. 


Dr Low recorded the brain waves that the iBrain picked up from the actions and fed the results into his extensive mind-reading algorithm, called Spears. 


With enough research, Low believes he can develop software that will convert these brain waves into thoughts, and allow them to be translated into letters words and sentences.

Eventually, it might be possible to carry on entire conversations using only the iBrain and computer translation software hooked up to speakers, Dr Low told the New York Times. 


But for now, the machine has plenty of practical applications. 


Swiss drugmaker Hoffmann-La Roche is working with NeuroVigil to develop software that will allow the device to monitor how drugs on working in the brain. 


Low says it’s a key step toward creating highly-effective personalized medication. 


It can also be used to simply and quickly diagnose autism, sleep apnea, depression and other disorders that effect the brain.

Elite.

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Preston Waters

Preston Waters is a thinker. He's not your traditional philosophical persona, however, as he leaves no topic untouched. Covering all the bases, from business to women, Preston Waters is the ultimate man's man for Gen-Y.

More In World

World Emily Arata

Heartbreaking: Doctor Records Deteriorating Signature Of An Alzheimer’s Patient Over 12 Years

Michael Rafii, director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the University of California San Diego, is collecting signatures. Rafii studies the effects of Alzheimer’s on patients with Down syndrome, the largest population of people who contract the debilitating disease. In the case of a patient named Irma, the descent into Alzheimer’s was swift. Rafii collected […]

World John Haltiwanger

The Internet Exploded When President Barack Obama Wore A Khaki Suit

President Obama made headlines today, but not for something you might expect. Simply by wearing a khaki suit, he sent shockwaves across the fashion world. You’re a bold man Mr. President: “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” Obama said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions.” http://t.co/AC0MYspxtL pic.twitter.com/Pf1kG8DQP9 — VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) August […]

World Emily Arata

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Opens Episode With Incredible Same-Sex Routine (Video)

Fox’s dance competition “So You Think You Can Dance” has finally come out of the closet. In its 11 seasons, “SYTYCD” has barely mentioned homosexuality. The dance couples are heterosexual, the on-stage romances are always straight and contestants never mention their own sexuality. But on yesterday’s Final Four episode, the competing dancers opened the show […]

Also On Elite

Humor

Unluckiest Biker Faceplants Into A Pothole Hidden Under A Puddle (Video)

Sometimes you take the world, and sometimes the world takes you. Or, in the case of this bicyclist, the world just slaps you in the face with a cold puddle and a broken bike. This biker is heading out to get his day started when he decides to cross a puddle. Unfortunately, the water hides […]

Technology

This Can’t Be A Thing: New App Pledges To Help People Avoid ‘Sketchy’ Neighborhoods

SketchFactor, a potentially degrading new smartphone app, crowdsources user experiences and public data to rate the shadiness of urban neighborhoods. The app, created by cofounders Allison McGuire and Daniel Herrington, allows users to avoid “sketchy” neighborhoods and unsafe areas. McGuire addressed the app’s potential for criticism as well as the potential race factor in determining the neighborhood’s sketchiness. […]

Entertainment

Artist Perfectly Captures Robin Williams’ Essence In Illustrations Of His Characters

An artist by the name of Carrie Winiker created some pretty amazing illustrations of Robin Williams’ most famous roles. Winiker made the stylized drawings following the late actor’s death. For some reason, each character doesn’t have a nose. Maybe that’s just the style of this particular artist? Regardless, it’s a cool way to remember some of Williams’ greatest […]

World

9-Year-Old Boy Who Got Lost In NYC Says It Was The Greatest Day Of His Life

This past Saturday, a family lived through their worst nightmare when their 9-year-old son became lost in New York City for two hours. The boy, on the other hand, was having a blast. Chris became separated from his parents and younger sister at around 4:30 pm at the Central Park Zoo. He said he tried […]

World

Baby In A Stroller Gets Blown Onto Train Tracks By A Strong Gust Of Wind (Video)

The frightening moment a child in a stroller is catapulted onto the tracks at a train station was captured on harrowing footage. In the video, a father is seen setting his child in a stroller down at the bottom of the stairwell of a London Underground station. He then goes back up the stairs to assist other family members in […]