High-Tech Tattoos Make Telepathy Possible
It appears telepathy, or speaking to one another with our minds, could soon become a reality.
Possessing the ability to control certain machines via brain activity is not entirely new. In recent years, specialists have been able to help amputee patients overcome their disabilities using bionic limbs moved by specific thoughts.
But up until now, such innovations have come following invasive surgeries that involve, above all else, penetrating the skull.
And while the possibilities for such advancements are seemingly endless, those without life-altering disabilities are not readily willing to implant small electronic devices into their bodies to realize this goal.
And they may never have to.
Introducing: Non-Invasive Electronic Tattoos
Electrical engineer Todd Coleman at the University of California is in the process of creating a non-invasive way to control machines via the mind; techniques that can benefit virtually anyone.
His innovation involves using wireless flexible electronics that can be applied to the forehead (like a temporary tattoo) to read brain activity.
These "electronic tattoos" are less than 100 microns thick, or the average diameter of a human hair. They consist of circuitry embedded in a layer of rubber polyester that allows them to stretch, bend, and wrinkle.
They are barely visible when placed on the skin, making them easy to hide from others. (Source: smithsonianmag.com)
The devices detect all electrical signals via brain waves and are powered by solar cells. Tiny antennas also allow them to communicate wirelessly and receive energy. Researchers also said that they could equip specialized devices with other features (such as thermal sensors to monitor skin temperature) as well.
In its prototype form, Coleman and his team revealed that the electronic tattoos detect brain signals in a way similar to that of our natural mental state; that is, by recognizing familiar images.
And there is already vast speculation circulating as to the potential of such a device.
Those in the medical field believe that placing an electronic tattoo on the forehead of a premature baby could detect the onset of epilepsy or other brain development problems.
Hearing Thoughts Made Possible
But Coleman and his team also opened up a whole new world of possibilities by announcing that the devices can be placed on other parts of the body as well.
Placing an electronic tattoo on the throat, for example, could behave as a subvocal microphone through which people could communicate silently and wirelessly. (Source: businessinsider.com)
Said Coleman, "We've demonstrated that our sensors can pick up the electrical signals of muscle movements in the throat, so that people can communicate just with thought."
If this proves to be true, we are in the midst of one day being able to literally hear the thoughts of another person.