Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Brain Twitter Project

The Brain-Twitter project, started by Adam Wilson, a doctoral student, is based on the idea that paralyzed people can send messages on Twitter by thinking about it, using electrical impulses.

That's right, no keyboards, just a red cap fitted with electrodes that monitor brain activity, hooked up to a computer flashing letters on a screen. Wilson sent the messages by concentrating on the letters he wanted to "type," then focusing on the word "twit" at the bottom of the screen to post the message.

The development could be a lifeline for people with "locked-in syndrome" -- whose brains function normally but who cannot speak or move because of injury or disease.

The video below shows a user wearing a cap, sitting front of a screen, "typing" letters with the method. The alphabet and numbers appear on the screen and in the bottom right corner is the word "Twit" which is used to send the completed message. The video shows the user concentrating on each letter, which is added to the message that appears at the top of the screen.

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