Intel is developing new technology could allow people to dictate letters and search the internet simply by thinking. The work is being done at the Human brain project with Intel and Carnegie Mellon. Dean Pomerleau heads up Intels Pittsburgh research lab and is wearing a prototype brain interface below. 2020 has been mentioned as a target date for commercialization of the more advanced version of this device.
Unlike current brain-controlled computers, which require users to imagine making physical movements to control a cursor on a screen, the new technology will be capable of directly interpreting words as they are thought.
Intel’s scientists are creating detailed maps of the activity in the brain for individual words which can then be matched against the brain activity of someone using the computer, allowing the machine to determine the word they are thinking.
Intel already have a working prototype that can detect words such as “screwdriver”, “house” and “barn”, by measuring around 20,000 points in the brain.
Work is under way to produce smaller pieces of equipment that can be worn as headsets and that can produce the same level of detail as hospital sized MRI.