Brainwave headset can help ALS patients with daily tasks
While there is no cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, developers are creating a new way to empower people afflicted with the disease. A new high-tech headset and software can read literally read minds.
The headset, created by neuroengineering company Emotiv, is equipped with multiple sensors that put brainwaves into action. People who wear the headset can visualize actions, which then correspond with specific commands such as triggering movements, CNET.com's Kara Tsubio reports.
Technology services company Accenture has developed software that links the headset with Phillips smart appliances.
The user's brainwaves navigate a cursor through an app that syncs and controls specific appliances.
"It has the potential to turn the Phillips Hue lights on and off. To turn a Phillips smart television on and off. To request emergency medical services and to also issue pre-configured commands," Brent Blum of the Wearable Technology Practice at Accenture said.
As medical research sheds light on ALS -- and as Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising videos continue to trend on the web and raise donations -- the technology can provide some solutions to enhance communication and enable daily tasks for ALS victims.
ALS patient Eric Valor has lived with the disease for nearly 10 years and is now paralyzed, but with the help of technology, he communicates by typing messages on a device controlled by his eye movements.
Accenture says it has no immediate plans to make the brainwave system publicly available, but more research is underway.
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