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Brain to Twitter interface

Gids | 12:58 UK time, Friday, 24 April 2009

It was once the stuff of science fiction, sending messages using only the power of your thoughts, but now a system designed to send messages to the social networking site Twitter using brain electrodes could help paralysed people do just that.

Unveiled by the University of Wisconsin's NITRO Lab, the story has spread like wildfire through the disablisphere - here's one such post by Wheelchair Cathlic, where you can also see a video of brain-twittering in action.

It works using a special bit of headgear to read impulses from the brain. As letters are highlighted on the screen, the user focuses their brain when the correct letter is selected; to send a tweet they simply point their thoughts towards a special 'twit' button in the interface.

Whilst posting to this fashionable site might seem like a gimmick, the researchers are quick to point out reasons why Twitter is an ideal venue for people with severe paralysis. The short message site eschews all the fields and formatting of email, allowing disabled users to quickly blast messages to friends.

Rest assured Ouch will be on the waiting list if the system becomes publicly available. But until we can dump our keyboards and update the site just by thinking hard about it, you can follow us under bbcouch on Twitter.

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