Belgian researchers from the European nanoelectronics and nano-technology research center Imec, Holst Centre, and Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven developed an EEG based writing system that may be helpful for people with severe disabilities.
The Mind Speller, though, seems very similar to University of Wisconsin-Madison’s communication tool we wrote about a year ago that flashes rows and columns of characters and monitors when the brain notices the character it wants to type.
It detects and interprets P300 event-related potentials in the EEG-signals of a person that is selecting characters from a display presenting alternate rows and columns of characters. P300 potentials are often used as metrics of cognitive function in decision making processes. However, currently available P300 devices are large, expensive and uncomfortable in use.
The Mind Speller, on the other hand, uses a portable device, not larger than a matchbox, connected to a cap that contains electrodes located at specific positions on the head to capture the relevant EEG-signals. The electronics in the matchbox are developed by imec and Holst Centre. It contains imec and Holst Centre’s proprietary ultra-low power 8-channel EEG-chip to process the EEG signals, a commercially available low power microcontroller that digitizes the EEG signals and a low power 2.4GHz radio that transmits the EEG signals wirelessly to a nearby PC. The data is interpreted on the PC by powerful and robust signal processing algorithms developed by the team of Prof. Marc Van Hulle at the lab of neuro- and psychophysiology of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
Flashback: Twittering With Thought…
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*