May 062011
 

A GROUP of students from the University of Canberra have developed a system that can read people’s thoughts and translate them into words on a computer screen.

The “Brain Speller” headset tunes into signals being sent from the brain using electrodes attached to the scalp.

Once the signals have been detected, a software program can translate them into words, allowing sufferers of paralysis, brain damage or dementia to communicate.

Users are given a portable computer which runs the program.

Approximately 350,200 Australians need assistance to communicate or have trouble doing so due to disability or disease, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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

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