MIT Graduate Comes Up With Device That Can Read Words You Say In Your Head And Respond Accordingly

1:38 pm 7 Apr, 2018


There’s no doubt that we all have become used to advanced technologies like ‘Siri’. But have we ever dreamt of a device which could not only interpret our thoughts, but also combine human and computer communication with almost 90 percent accuracy?



Today, voice recognition technology has become a salient feature of computer interface, but it has a drawback, as the ‘voice-to-text’ technology is too ‘public’. The solution has just been found for the noisy man-machine conversations, by some brilliant MIT researchers/analysts, who have come up with the perfect gadget for you!




Three researchers at MIT Media Lab have come up with a voice recognition device called “AlterEgo” which is a new wearable device that can “read” your thoughts by listening to your internal commands. This cool device can be switched on by talking to it using a trigger command, bypassing any need for you to talk aloud in public.

And this is how it looks:



One of its key creators is an Indian named Arnav Kapur, who was previously a researcher at Harvard Medical School and worked on measuring human gene levels. At MIT, he is known for building “futuristic” devices. He co-designed and engineered the Lunar Rover (Indus), that is set to land on the Moon in 2019 (as part of the Google Lunar X Prize challenge).

He has invented and studied several advanced computer technologies, to build his own next generation of personal computing platforms. Just like he did with “AlterEgo”.


“AlterEgo” has got seven electrodes positioned around the mouth to pick up these signals, which after several rounds of processing, get transmitted wirelessly to a device awaiting instruction from you. For that, the device is installed with a ‘bone-conduction’ headphone so that the devices can respond.



This advanced prototype device, can recognize the words you mouth when you silently talk to yourself — the nonverbal prompts. It is made of loops around the user’s ear, follows your jawline, and attaches underneath the mouth, and a computer system, which then analyses the data sent, associating specific signals with words.



The sensors in the device are naked to the human eye. The combo of an earpiece and microphone can’t be undermined at first glance! It looks like a white plastic curve which hangs off the wearer’s ear and arcs over to touch their chin.



The ‘testing’ stage of this device was as interesting as well. It included complex games like chess and basic multiplication and addition problems, using limited vocabularies of just 20 words – which brought out 92 percent accuracy.



Another example of using the headset was in selecting a movie to watch by controlling/selecting what’s on TV. Through this, the creators checked the accuracy of the thoughts picked up by the device, which were then fed to a machine-learning system trained to associate these words with the signals it receives.



Without anyone else hearing any part of your conversation, and just by thinking about words, you can talk to this device and it will understand you. Isn’t that cool?! The team at MIT should be proud of this seamless conversation with the machine and the fact that just headphones can now interpret you and talk to you silently.


The results are promising, and you might think its closest comparison is a device you can address in your normal speech, like Siri or Alexa. But, AlterEgo is far more accurate and your voice won’t be heard to anyone than the device itself!



It’s not invasive, it’s portable and it’s convenient. But AlterEgo needs to deal with some things to become a success – the electrodes can mess up the readings and it’s not easy to have a device hanging on your mouth always.



Check out this cool device from the creator himself!




Do you think you’ll like to try this cool device and let a machine interpret your thoughts? Do tell us in the comments.

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