Disabled to be given the gift of the gab

23rd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

23 November 2004 , SINGAPORE - German and US researchers have linked up with a research team in Singapore to develop a high-tech device aimed at enabling people who cannot talk or move any of their limbs to communicate via computers, the project leader announced on Tuesday. Dubbed the "Brainy Communicator", the innovation acts as an interface to convert the electrical signals of thoughts into text on a computer screen, said Guan Cuntai, head of the neuro-informatics lab at the Institute of Infocomm Researc

23 November 2004

SINGAPORE - German and US researchers have linked up with a research team in Singapore to develop a high-tech device aimed at enabling people who cannot talk or move any of their limbs to communicate via computers, the project leader announced on Tuesday.

Dubbed the "Brainy Communicator", the innovation acts as an interface to convert the electrical signals of thoughts into text on a computer screen, said Guan Cuntai, head of the neuro-informatics lab at the Institute of Infocomm Research.

"It's very promising," Guan, 40, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. "Normal members of our medical staff have tested it and it worked."

Research engineer Zhang Hai Hong demonstrated the innovation wearing a cap with electrodes attached.

Focusing on symbols or letters on the screen enables users to express basic yearnings, such as "hungry".

While sentences are not yet possible, Zhang noted that even basic communication for people who did not have this capability before could immeasurably improve their quality of life.

The five researchers have been working on the project since last October. The next stage will involve testing the device on severely disabled people, said Guan, from China.

The team hopes to have the innovation out in the market within two years. Separate research is also going on in Australia.

The project has received a USD 59,000 (EUR 45,000) grant from South Korean electronics giant Samsung.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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