Researcher Sends Telepathic Tweet

Research should help paralysis victims to communicate
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2009 12:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – In a perhaps inevitable move, a researcher posted an update to Twitter earlier this month simply by thinking about it, the Wisconsin Technology Network reports. But don’t make any plans for telepathic tweeting just yet—the doctoral student is researching a communication system for paralyzed patients, not lazy social networkers. This “would really be an enabling type of communication means for those people,” says a professor.

One scientist has hailed the breakthrough as “one of the first—and perhaps most useful—integrations of brain-computer interface techniques with Internet technologies to date.” The system uses electrodes that run between the computer and the user’s head which detect brain activity when the desired letter flashes onscreen. The researcher compared the interface to text messaging and said users can do up to eight characters per minute with practice.