Closer than we might think.
These devices can also be put on other parts of the body, such as the throat. When people think about talking, their throat muscles move even if they do not speak, a phenomenon known as subvocalization. Electronic tattoos placed on the throat could therefore behave as subvocal microphones through which people could communicate silently and wirelessly.
“We’ve demonstrated our sensors can pick up the electrical signals of muscle movements in the throat so that people can communicate just with thought,” Coleman says. Electronic tattoos placed over the throat could also pick up signals that would help smartphones with speech recognition, he added.
Invasive brain implants remain better at reading brain activity, Coleman notes.
But neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis at Duke University Medical Center says there is a need for noninvasive technologies such as these for the brain. “People will want to navigate environments just by thinking, or play games just by thinking,” says Nicolelis, who did not take part in this research.
This is why science is awesome, people. It’s slowly going to turn us all into Jedi… or you know, Borg, but still… pretty cool anyway.
Now if you could just get me a fully functional lightsaber, my inner 8 year-old’s life goals would be complete.