Ambient Audeo Technology, Speak Your Thoughts

September 26th, 2007 at 12:00 am


Well, it seems that Michael Callahan, a University of Illinois graduate and founder of Ambient, has taken the stage at yesterday’s DEMO.

The Audeo technology is Callahan’s baby. Here’s what it does in a nutshell: a wearable sensor reads nerve impulses (neurological signals) from the brain sent to the larynx, the sensor data is sent to a computer (encrypted and wirelessly) then a program reads, translates and outputs the signal as audible speech. Details here .

Though the technology is nothing short of amazing, the technology is very basic instrumentation. It’s like a digital thermometer and connecting it to a PC. The brilliance of Audeo however is in the software, take note that the nerve signal sensor has already existed in medical practices, and the signal decoder LabView from National Instruments was released more than 5 years ago. However, Callahan’s software is new.

According to Callahan, his algorithm of course reads the signal from LabView and translates that signal into speech. The tricky part is how to teach the algorithm to speak. Whatever magic he used to do it is pretty amazing.

All in all, Ambient is still perfecting the technology and will be targetting speech impaired people. Furthermore, there are also developments that convert the nerve signals into mechanical movements, like making a wheelchair roll. Of course, those are all the serious medical applications of this technology, imagine all the fun stuff possible!

All that being said, here’s a dangling question: When will a reverse of this technolgy be available? Meaning, converting other signals (audio, visual, tactile, taste, smell, emotion? etc.) into nerve impulses! Now that would make us all telepathic! COOL!