Hacking Steve Hawkins' brainApril 4 2012 at 3:29 PM
|Fundie (Login Fundie)|
Almost completely paralyzed from Lou Gehrig's disease, Hawking uses face muscles to operate a voice machine.
Hawking's face muscles are slowly failing, but soon he may not need them, thanks to technology by La Jolla-based NeuroVigil.
This past summer, Low flew to Cambridge, England, and Hawking agreed to wear the device. He was asked to think very hard about doing various tasks while his brain waves were tracked.
Using a special algorithm to convert the wave patterns, Low learned each of those thoughts produced its own distinct brain wave patterns, which can be mapped out.
Eventually, Low believes a computer could read the patterns and speak Hawking's thoughts.
"We'd like to find a way to bypass his body, pretty much hack his brain," said Low.
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NeuroVigil, a small company of about 11 employees, has received a big part of its funding from winning awards.