For those who have lost the ability to speak and use their hands due to becoming paralyzed, have ALS, a stroke, or severe cerebral palsy to name a few; communication can be difficult and frustrating. Current devices used to assist people in communication such as sip and puff machines or devices in which the eyes are used to move a track pad, can be slow as only one letter or phrase can be selected at a time.
A team of scientists at the University of California have discovered a way to have brain signals turned into words. They use electrodes and a computer to record volunteers’ brain activity and translate those into words. This is similar to how a robotic arm may be moved by the person thinking about moving the arm. The technology looks at a person’s brain signals and decodes the activity that would be produced when a person tries to speak.
University researchers hope to one day soon restore fluent speech to people who have lost their ability to communicate. This new technology would open up a whole new world to people and improve quality of life drastically.
To read the full article about the research and technology click here.