A new thought-to-speech technology promises to give voice to the voiceless, to silence cell phone yellers, and to provide a discreet way to query search
engineswhile in public.
At the Texas Instruments Developer Conference in Dallas last week, Michael Callahan, CEO and co-founder of Ambient Corp. of Champaign, Ill., (not to be confused with Ambient Corporation of Newton, Mass.), demonstrated Audeo, a way to convert the deliberate nerve impulses that precede vocalization into digital information that can be turned into synthesized speech.
"What we came up with was essentially a technology that captures neurological information from the brain, and translates it into speech," said Callahan in a video of the presentation.
The technology can't read minds. "It's a step above thinking but a step below speaking," Callahan explained. It requires, in other words, a deliberate effort to think about speaking words. But it can be used to provide those who have lost the ability to speak with a substitute form of vocal communication.
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