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 Mental Keyboard

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Date posted: 13/03/2006

CeBIT is mainly a consumer products show but this year, it is to showcase the "mental typewriter," a brain to computer interface which translates thoughts into cursor movements on a computer screen. The user has 128 electrodes placed on their scalp, and the EEG-like signals are decoded by a software program to identify specific information, like the choosing of letters in order to compose words and sentences. The neural analysis is time-consuming (a typical sentence would take 5 to 10 minutes to write) and the electrodes themselves take an hour to apply, but eventually researchers hope to make it possible for people with severe disabilities such as extensive paralysis, to communicate through computers.

The Mental Typewriter is so far behind technologies like BrainGate, its almost laughable, but, it shows that non-invasive techniques, can work as well as the invasive BrainGate neuro-tranciever, if just a tad slower at present.

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