Science

MRI-tech will make telepathy possible in 8 years, start-up claims

11 Jul 2017 | By Anish Chakraborty
MRI-tech, telepathy and an inspired idea

Everybody has heard about telepathy i.e. thinking something inside your head and your thoughts getting transmitted to another person or vice versa.

It's more relevant in science fiction stories or paranormal territories now; but in eight years of time, it might become a reality. Openwater founder Mary Lou Jepsen and her firm are trying to make it possible.

Here's all about it.

In context: MRI-tech, telepathy and an inspired idea

11 Jul 2017MRI-tech will make telepathy possible in 8 years, start-up claims

JepsenIt sounds too far-fetched

Mary Lou Jepsen's career graph is quite remarkable. She has been an engineering executive at Facebook, Oculus, Google[x] (now called X) and Intel.

She has also been a professor at MIT and is an inventor, holding over 100 patents. Needless to say, that is why, when she talks about making telepathy a reality, even skeptics tend to listen instead of calling it a rant.

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What's the plan?

OpenwaterWhat's the plan?

Jepsen left Facebook to start her San Francisco-based company, Openwater in 2016. The start-up is currently working on creating technologies that'll make medical imaging more affordable.

Although she doesn't have a prototype ready yet, Jepsen has apparently devised a way to put the functionality of an MRI machine into a wearable that's similar to a ski hat. This is where telepathy comes in.

MRIShould it work?

It is possible in a broader sense to see someone's thoughts via MRI technology. Using MRI technology one can now predict what the other person is going to say or what images or music the other person is thinking about.

The next step should be to shrink that technology and use it as a telepathy hat, if you will.

TheoryIf yes, then how?

Jepsen says "the really big moonshot idea here is communication with thought - with telepathy."

If possible it will, "literally be a thinking cap," with the ability to both read and provide an output on the user's thought.

Simultaneously, it should be able to read and interpret thoughts of others. This is easier said than done but Jepsen has a theory that might work.

OxygenTaking a different approach

Traditional MRI makes use of magnetic fields and radio waves in our bodies to take images of internal organs. Openwater aims at illuminating the flow of oxygen in a person's body which, they believe, will make this pricey process more compact and cheaper.

Jepsen believes, since our bodies are translucent to infrared light, it would be possible to use it to read our head.