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Surprising Science

Typing With Your Mind

For people with spinal injuries or other conditions that impair use of the arms or vocal cords—or for the curious who just think it’s cool—a new technology types your thoughts for you.

New hardware, along with some interface, allows you to type simply by thinking of the words you want to appear on the screen. “A skullcap along with a computer interface, the system is in development by Austrian company Guger Technologies. It was demonstrated at CeBIT, an annual worldwide digital industry event, held this year in Hanover, Germany, from March 1 to 5. To pick up brain activity, the skullcap is covered in electroencephalographic (E.E.G.) electrodes. Unfortunately, this early model requires that the user put gel between his and her head and the E.E.G. electrodes to function properly (though a dry version is forthcoming).”


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