If any of you have read the extract from my short story Paparazzi, you’ll remember a couple of the characters communicating with each other using something called a ‘Voice-Free Choker’ – a neck band that picks up nerve signals to the larynx and converts them into text or speech. Well, this morning I stumbled across this video at New Scientist of someone demonstrating what appears to be exactly that technology:

Of course I’m not really claiming to have thought this up – this system was developed by Texas Instruments – but the first I heard of the concept it was being touted by NASA to be built into the spacesuits for the probably-never-going-to-happen first manned Mars mission. The demo here shows it being used to make a phone-call, but I envisioned it being used for in game communications and for when privacy is needed in public spaces. Of course if it can convert ‘thoughts’ to speech it can also convert to text….handsfree SMS texting, anyone?

Very cool.