Telepathy could be possible within a decade, expert claims

  • The technology can allow people to see inside their brains or bodies in detail
  • It works via a piece of clothing lined with LCD’s that use infrared to see organs
  • It can look for things such as tumors and even bleeding or clogged arteries
  • But, the company’s ultimate aim is to develop it for communication via thought

A company is developing a device that can allow people to see inside their brains or bodies in great detail.

The technology, developed by Openwater, works via a piece of clothing such as ski-hat lined with LCDs – and, illuminated with infrared, it can see into your body to look for things such as tumors and bleeding or clogged arteries.

While the technology has significant potential for disease detection, the company’s ultimate aim is to develop it for communication via thought – in just eight years.

A schematic of Openwater's LCD technology that could line a piece of clothing such as a hat to see inside the body

The technology works via a piece of clothing such as ski-hat lined with LCD's illuminated with infrared that see into your body to look for things such as tumors, bleeding or clogged arteries

The technology works via a piece of clothing such as ski-hat (pictured right) lined with LCD’s illuminated with infrared that see into your body to look for things such as tumors, bleeding or clogged arteries. Pictured left is a schematic of the LCD’s inside the hat

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The technology works via a piece of clothing such as ski-hat (pictured left) lined with flexible LCD’s illuminated with infrared that see into your body to look for things such as tumors, bleeding or clogged arteries.

The LCD’s have pixels small enough to create reconstructive holographic images that, along with the use of body-temperature detectors, enable scanning at MRI resolution.

The LCD’s, along with the sensors, line the inside of a ski-hat, piece of clothing or bandage .

The LCD’s are being built by the company and can scan out the brain or body systematically or selectively.

Dr Mary Lou Jepsen, a former Facebook and Google executive, founded the company in mid-2016.

‘I figured out how to put basically the functionality of an M.R.I. machine — a multimillion-dollar M.R.I. machine — into a wearable in the form of a ski hat,’ Dr Jepsen told CNBC.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imagery) machines can already see your thoughts, and Dr Jepsen says she’s worked on shrinking that technology down.

She said that one day, the technology could literally be a ‘thinking cap’ and that the ‘moonshot idea here is communication with thought’ – to read and output ones thoughts.

While MRI technology uses magnetic fields and radio waves to take images of organs, Openwater’s technology uses infrared light to scan the brain or body bit by bit.

It works by small LCD’s with pixels small enough to create reconstructive holographic images that, along with the use of body-temperature detectors, enable scanning at MRI resolution.

The LCD’s, along with the sensors, line the inside of a ski-hat, piece of clothing or bandage .

The LCD’s are being built by the company and can scan out the brain or body systematically or selectively.

The system could also be used in reverse – to focus light to any area of interest in the body or brain to for example irradiate tumors.

This GIF shows how the LCD technology creates holographic images using infrared. Credit: Openwater

The technology may also enable uploading, downloading or even augmenting our memories, thoughts and emotions non-invasively.

According to Openwater, a limited number of prototypes will be released next year to early access partners.

Dr Jepsen told CNBC that the technology would speed up innovation – for example, filmmakers could potentially download their dreams and product designers could download their thoughts and send them to a 3-D printer.

Dr Mary Lou Jepsen (pictured), a former Facebook and Google executive, founded Openwater in mid-2016 with the 'moonshot' goal of communication with thought - to read and output thoughts

Dr Mary Lou Jepsen (pictured), a former Facebook and Google executive, founded Openwater in mid-2016 with the ‘moonshot’ goal of communication with thought – to read and output ones thoughts. The technology being developed is a non-invasive wearable

Dr Jepsen’s Openwater isn’t the only company working towards telepathy.

Elon Musk’s Neuralink company is working to link the human brain with a machine interface by creating micron-sized devices.

Neuralink was registered in California as a ‘medical research’ company last July, and he plans on funding the company mostly by himself.

Dr Mary Lou Jepsen, Openwater's CEO, told CNBC that the technology would speed up innovation - for example, filmmakers could potentially download their dreams and product designers could download their thoughts and send them to a 3-D printer

Dr Mary Lou Jepsen, Openwater’s CEO, told CNBC that the technology would speed up innovation – for example, filmmakers could potentially download their dreams and product designers could download their thoughts and send them to a 3-D printer

It will work on what Musk calls the ‘neural lace’ technology, implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.

He said ‘neural laces’ will help people with severe brain injuries in just four years.

And in eight to ten years, the Matrix-style technology will be available to everyone, he added.

Dr Jepsen noted that Elon Musk’s Neuralink approach is invasive, and Openwater’s is not.

Dr Mary Lou Jepsen's Openwater isn't the only one conducting research in the field of telepathy.Elon Musk's Neuralink company is working to link the human brain with a machine interface by creating micron-sized devices

Dr Mary Lou Jepsen’s Openwater isn’t the only one conducting research in the field of telepathy.Elon Musk’s Neuralink company is working to link the human brain with a machine interface by creating micron-sized devices