MIT researchers have invented a new computer interface that allows you to talk to computers without speaking and listen to them without using your ears — at least, not in the usual way. Known as AlterEgo, this mind-reading headset is totally handsfree and voice-free. And, it doesn’t read your brain waves.
How AlterEgo works: The system consists of a wearable headset and an associated computing system. Electrodes in AlterEgo scan the jaw and face for the neuromuscular signals produced when you say words in your head without actually speaking them aloud.
The headset acts as a microphone for a computer without actually picking up any sounds. In the meantime, a pair of bone conduction headphones transmits sounds from the computer to the wearer’s inner ear via the bones of the jaw and skull.
Lead researcher Arnav Kapur, said, “The motivation for this was to build an IA device – an intelligence-augmentation device.”
“Our idea was: Could we have a computing platform that’s more internal, that melds human and machine in some ways and that feels like an internal extension of our own cognition?”