Imagine you are paralyzed, how would you communicate with others? Sure there are some methods available at the moment, but nothing quite beats the written or spoken language, right? The good news is that scientists are working towards that and have recently managed to develop a device that can turn your breath into words.
Basically the system will be able to detect changes in your breathing patterns. From there it will be able to convert those patterns into words via a recognition system, after which a speech synthesizer will be used to read those words out aloud. In a way we are reminded of the speech system used by Stephen Hawking where he uses a computer to speak on his behalf.
According to Atul Gaur, consultant anaesthetist at Glenfield Hospital, England, ”This device could transform the way people with severe muscular weakness or other speech disorders communicate. In an intensive care setting, the technology has the potential to be used to make an early diagnosis of locked-in syndrome (LIS), by allowing patients, including those on ventilators, to communicate effectively by breathing — an almost effortless act.”
The system is also a learning one, meaning that over time, it will be able to understand you better thus allowing you to communicate more effectively. Its creators are also boasting a 97.5% success rate when teaching the system to recognize words and phrases. No word on when it is expected to be implemented, but it’s definitely worth looking forward to.
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