The AlterEgo headset adds a digital assistant right to your head

Arnav Kapoor received a $ 15, 000 Lemelson-MIT student award for developing a prototype headset for silent command transmission. It uses the proven idea of ​​a laryngophone, but on a new level - the sensors do not read the vibration of the skin or muscles, but the electrical signals that pass through the nerves that control them. In this way, you can maintain a conversation without making a sound.

In its current form, the AlterEgo headset looks rough, it is not ready for commercial use, especially since the developer is at a crossroads. Kapoor has two priority goals: helping people with disabilities and modernizing voice assistants. In the first case, it will be an attempt to return speech to those who have lost it. In the second - to make virtual assistants deeply personalized, so that their dialogue with the user takes place in secret from others.

When a person wants to say something, a characteristic signal is formed in the brain, which is transmitted through the nervous system to the speech apparatus. This triggers changes in the electrical field around the nerves to which the sensor reacts. It is not necessary to open your mouth, exhale air and produce vibrations of the medium, the system intercepts the signal before that, and then interprets it into commands. Feedback is even easier - AlterEgo responds to the owner through a regular earpiece.

Now Arnav Kapoor is busy with finalizing the system, in particular, optimizing the speech recognition system. There are quite a few people in the world with a clear mind, but already decrepit body, which they almost do not control. A system that has no mechanical parts and receives signals directly from the brain could make their life much easier.