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MIT’s new headset reads the ‘words in your head’


There’s always been a glaring issue with voice computing: Talking to a voice assistant with other people around makes you feel like a bit of a weirdo. It’s a big part of the reason we’ve been seeing the technology start to take off in the home, where people feel a little less self-conscious talking to their machines.

The advent of some sort of nonverbal device that gets the job done in a similar way, but without the talking, is a kind of inevitability. A team at MIT has been working on just such a device, though the hardware design, admittedly, doesn’t go too far toward removing that whole self-consciousness bit from the equation.

AlterEgo is a headmounted — or, more properly, jaw-mounted — device that’s capable of reading neuromuscular signals through built-in electrodes. The hardware, as MIT puts it, is capable of reading “words in your head.”