Twitter is one Web-based service that has taken the world by storm, and it was evident from the latest Ashton vs CNN Twitter shootout, where the former had more star power and eventually beat out James Earl Jones’ favorite news channel in garnering the number of followers within the shortest time possible. Twitter has grown to become an indispensable tool when it comes to updating people wherever you are and vice versa, that it has even made the jump across to mobile devices like various cell phone applications. What happens when some smart aleck decided to further enhance Twitter by using sheer telepathic power to type down a message? Sounds far fetched, but it is actually now possible thanks to Adam Wilson, a University of Wisconsin biomedical engineer who sent the first message using nothing but his brain alone, with “USING EEG TO SEND TWEET” being the first brain-powered Tweet in the world.
This could potentially become as famous as Alexander Graham Bell’s “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Brain-computer interfaces are no longer limited to the world of science fiction or comics, but is pretty much a viable platform for researchers who are interested in immediate real-world applications, specially targeting folks who are still fully in charge of their mental faculties despite being otherwise where their limbs are concerned. Justin Williams, head of the University of Wisconsin’s Neural Interfaces lab, “We’re more interested in the applications. How do we actually make these technologies useful for people with disabilities?”
Sending tweets was made possible using the BCI2000, a software tool that is able to translate thought-induced changes in a scalp’s electrical fields in order to manipulate an on-screen cursor. Unfortunately, this technology is still in its infancy, so don’t expect to tweet at unprecedented speeds. It will take around 10 seconds to choose the right character for a trained mind, so imagine just how long it will take for the layman to come up with a 140-character tweet, not to mention looking like a total dork while you’re at it