"Brain Speller" headset turns thoughts into words

It is designed to tune into signals sent from the brain using electrodes attached to the scalp.

Updated: May 07, 2011, 18:24 PM IST

Melbourne: In a technological breakthrough, students at the University of Canberra have developed a "Brain Speller" that can read people`s thoughts and translate them into words on a computer screen.

The system will help hundreds of thousands of Australians who need assistance to communicate or have trouble doing so due to some disability or disease.

Team leader, Paul Du hopes that the system could be used to help dementia sufferers and people with severe physical disabilities to improve communication between patients and their families.

"The whole idea was we were doing some research and we just found that the disability statistics were so vast in Australia, and around the world," news.com.au quoted Du as saying.

"We`re excited by the opportunity to combine imagination and technology to create a product that will improve lives and genuinely help with an issue that affects so many people in this country," he added.

The "Brain Speller" headset is designed to tune into signals sent from the brain using electrodes attached to the scalp. Once the signals are detected, a program translates them into words.

The signals can be read through a portable computer attached with the headset.

Thus, allowing sufferers of paralysis, brain damage or dementia to effectively communicate.

ANI