Twitter brain interface

nia

Just in time for the influx of sedentary Oprah viewers, [Adam Wilson] built a brain interface that allows you to post Twitter messages. The electrode cap monitors the user’s brain functions to determine where they’re looking. The display slowly flashes each letter in the alphabet. The user focuses on the letter they want and when it flashes the cap can pick up the resulting impulse. It’s a long process and the average user can only do ten characters a minute i.e. 14 minutes to use all 140 characters in a Twitter post. It’s interesting research and shows how far we still need to go with neural interfaces. The researchers note that Twitter’s forced brevity levels the playing field between locked-in patients and normal users. A video of the device in use is available on the NITRO blog.

Related: KanEye tracking system

[via @johl]

36 thoughts on “Twitter brain interface

  1. we’re going to need some technological breakthroughs before we can get a really effective neural interface. the electric signals just don’t transmit well to the scalp. signals from deep in the brain are even harder to get to.

  2. I think the only real way to get a good brain signal is by going there directly, never mind these silly caps. There have been good results with neural interfaces for paralyzed people by drilling a wire directly to the brain.

  3. sorry for the rant but ive just remembered – on the topic of locked in syndrome, theres a french film called “La scaphandre et la papillon” (the diving bell and the butterfly) inwhich the only way he can communicate is by them reading out all the letters (with the vowels first) and he blinks to say which one, long and drawn out as it says.

    he writes a full book in that state. All the way through it bugged me that they didnt make a better system. theres an input for the psp where it splits the alphabet into 5 blocks (the 4 corners and the middle)- you point the direction, click, then it splits that 5th down into 5 etc etc.

    This struck me as a much faster way of inputting. he can look up, down, left, right and centre and then blink to chose. 5×5 = 25. Thats pretty much a full alphabet – 2 inputs per letter (rather than 26 characters being read out. surely that would save a lot of time and upset?

  4. @superpomme: That actually happened, see the case of Jean-Dominique Bauby who the film was based on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Dominique_Bauby.

    Personally I don’t know why they didn’t teach him Morse code. Would have saved a ton of time.

    Actually, I now remember one case where morse blinking was used in Vietnam – the North Vietnamese forced an American POW to say he was being treated well on videotape, but he morse blinked “torture” as he was speaking and it slipped through. This gave American diplomats leverage for his release.

  5. Please, this has to stop. Twitter sucks. I’m sure if you’re disabled, the last thing you want to do is leave updates in less than 140 charac

  6. It’s rare to see any actual specs and research data on electrode based neural interfacing. It’s always grabbed my interest more than anything else.

  7. I wonder if a binary search approach would be possible where sets of letters could be highlighted until the target letter was selected. This way, a maximum of 5 signals would need to be read for each letter. The search tree could be fudged with a little so that more common letters would require fewer flashes.

  8. I also think that a system similar to T9 on mobiles might make the building of words more efficient. Depending on the already typed words you list the letters in descending probability instead of alphabetically. Or you could even list two or three most probable complete words as the first choices.

  9. why does everything have to involve twitter? there’s no reason why this couldn’t write directly to the keyboard buffer and thus into any application, why limit it to twitter?

  10. It physically hurts me to see something as awesome as a brain interface wasted on that flaming piece of internet camel shit also known as twitter.

    @Pilotgeek

    Please, this has to stop. Twitter sucks. I’m sure if you’re disabled, the last thing you want to do is leave updates in less than 140 characters.

    Thank you.

  11. This is pretty cool.

    But, we haven’t even gotten to a REAL, workable voice command interface. (ala Star Trek) I know there are some limited packages out there, but they are . . . limited.

    Can you imagine an interface that reads your mind. I have too many thoughts running around at any given time and I’d have to keep erasing porn.

  12. Me at 80yo: complaining about all the “kids” using their telepathic interfaces while I’m still using an old-fashioned QWERTY keyboard, monitor, and mouse.

  13. Cool, but it seems like the display order is screwed up for speed, it should probably display the most common letters in the poster’s language rather than going in alphabetical order, this should significantly speed up the typing rate

  14. if you are tired of facebook or twitter but want a way to connect with artists and musicians then you should check out http://www.putiton.com

    if you are tired of facebook or twitter but still want to connect with your friends then pick up the phone…

  15. My personal opinion w/machines/computers/technology is the same as education. the right brain after elementary school is largely ignored. ppl come up w/ thousands of lines of left brained sequential code. ie 10 first do this then 20 maybe do that. but all programs essentially use the same left brain code “generate random # and apply it in every circumstance!” we have two hemispheres 4 a reason! we need an intelligent “random thinking artificial cortex simulator” like a simple analog to binary ic. then we can accurately understand/read the “brain”

  16. Interesting researh, but tweeting process sememr too long, you should only write “I’m tweeting”. :)
    Because, that is what you do for 14 minutes. Hope will be faster someday. :)

  17. My personal opinion w/machines/computers/technology is the same as education. the right brain after elementary school is largely ignored. ppl come up w/ thousands of lines of left brained sequential code. ie 10 first do this then 20

    http://www.delinetciler.net

    maybe do that. but all programs essentially use the same left brain code “generate random # and apply it in every circumstance!” we have two hemispheres 4 a reason! we need an intelligent “random thinking artificial cortex simulator” like a simple analog to binary ic. then we can accurately understand/read the “brain”

  18. i used a software in ubuntu. it detects my forehead mid point. wherever i look around mouse point moves. so i think it’s quite similar with that soft. only the difference is it generates the words automatically. I dont like to use it now. because all thing happened is really slow. need more research

  19. Arent there already glasses that detect where u looking at? Anyway think of the letter than staring at it would be a lot nice. I’d like to see all the typos and a lot of dirty messages… :)

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