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'Mind reading' chip unveiled in Tianjin
Published on: 2019-06-14
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010A mind-reading chip that let you control a computer by just thinking has been unveiled at a conference in Tianjin.

Dubbed Brain Talker, works by picking out small electrical pulses in the brain and quickly decoding them into signals that a computer can interpret.

The chip could be used to control computers, smartphones and other devices, its creators say.

012It also has potential medical, education, security and entertainment applications, they add.

However, the information released so far on the chip and exactly how it operates is limited.

The Brain Talker chip has been jointly developed by Tianjin University and the China Electronics Corporation.

014These kinds of brain–computer interfaces are design to let a person control a computer, smartphone or other electronic device using their brainwaves alone — without needing any form of verbal instruction, movement, or button pressing.

Brain interfaces would not only allow for the faster operation of various technologies, but also be used to assist people with disabilities, for example by letting an individual drive an electric wheelchair just by thinking.

On a more frivolous front, Netflix revealed in 2017 that it had developed a mind-reading headband that selected shows to watch based on the wearer's thoughts.

011Recent advances in both integrated circuits and computational neuroscience have allowed researchers to develop the Brain Talker chip so it is both smaller and operates faster, more precisely and with greater efficiency than existing brain–computer interfaces.

Although it is not clear exactly how the device will be worn, most brain–computer interface devices are worn on the outside of the body, rather than being embedded directly into the user's brain.

The Brain Talker chip was unveiled during the third World Intelligence Congress, which was held in Tianjin on May 1, 2019.

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