Like a gadget straight out of some Sci-Fi flick, Ambient (using technology from Texas Instruments) has busted up the mobile phone industry with their new thought-controlled communications technology. AUDEO, as it’s called, picks up the neurological signals produced by the mere thought of speech and translates the nerve-impulses into audible words.
“The Audeo can enable voiceless communication that is virtually as easy
as just thinking about it,” said Michael Callahan, CEO and co-founder of
Ambient. The thought-controlled Audeo obviates the need to even open your mouth, since it detects the neural impulses associated with talking. The AUDEO hangs around your neck like some sort of alien voice-translator, and transmits the translated speech to a receiving speaker.
Thought-controlled speech could be a novel way to talk on the phone while in a noisy, crowded environment, but the medical implications are far more significant. People that have lost the gift of speech due to illness and disease would be able to once again communicate their thoughts without computer/keyboard aid.
Audeo is currently limited to a 150 word vocabulary, but Ambient plans to improve on the system to the point that vocabulary limits are a non-issue. Future versions of AUDEO will be able to recognize the phonemes associated with speech and piece together words on the fly. Ambient says that they’ll have a commercially viable product by year’s end.
If these Ambient guys can really get their Audeo system to recognize the phonemes that comprise everyday words, they’ll be opening up the prospect of using this technology in mobile phones. Imagine talking on your cellphone without actually talking.
Talk about someone something to put our minds to…