We've seen quadriplegic transportation directed by brainwaves
and even the occasional Wiimote
, but your best bet might be to follow your nose. Israeli nasal researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science unveiled a "sniff controller" this week, that measures nasal pressure to control a wheelchair joystick with surprising precision (see a video after the break) and a specially-developed typing interface. The latter is likely the more important advancement, as Discover
heartwarmingly reports at the source link, by giving patients with locked-in syndrome (a la The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
) the long-lost ability to speak. Best of all, the technology is inexpensive compared to alternatives on the market; while a Stephen Hawking
-esque eye-tracking system can cost tens of thousands of dollars, Weizmann scholars reportedly pieced the prototype together for $358. The device is already being considered for public availability by the institute's technology transfer company, Yeda R&D -- find out just how it works in the full study at our more coverage link.