Arnav Kapur from MIT Media Lab has developed an intelligent augmented device named as Alter Ego. It is a computer-based system which transcribes words a user thinks silently in his mind. The system vocalizes a command or a question inside the user’s brain. Electric signals are sent by the brain to the vocal chords which are intercepted and then sent to the computer. The information obtained is communicated into the user’s ear using vibrations. It appears like something is being searched on Google, however, it is only your brain which is being searched.
All the research work of Arnav was featured on a TV show called 60 minutes. In the show, Arnav answered the questions by the host by Googling them silently in his head. He also ordered pizza for the crew by simply thinking about it. He also answered the quotient of 45,689 divided by 67. He was also able to name the largest city in Bulgaria and also identified its population. Arnav communicated all of this without interacting with the device physically.
The system consists of a wearable device and a linked computer system. The internal verbalization of words cannot be detected by human eye since these signals go into a machine-learning system which can correlate incoming signals with respective words. The device also has a pair of bone conduction headphones which can transmit vibrations through the bones of the face to the inner ear. Using the headphones, the system can convey information in such a way that it cannot interrupt a conversation or interfere with the listening experience.