In the classic horror film Carrie, Sissy Spacek plays a teenager with telekinesis who uses her mental powers to burn down her high school gym after her classmates pour a bucket of pig’s blood on her head. Although telekinesis is usually just a trait reserved for fictional characters, Openwater, a San Francisco-based medical imaging start-up might be making telekinesis a reality through a thinking cap that can read patients’ thoughts.
MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to visualize internal organs. Mary Lou Jepsen wants to expand medical imaging’s capabilities to make it fully “body transparent.” The former Facebook engineering executive launched Openwater as a creative approach to MRI through using a ski hat that will examine the flow of oxygen in your brain by illuminating it with benign, infrared light to interpret thoughts. Jepsen’s ultimate goal is that the technology will allow us to download thoughts as images and send them a 3-D printer.
“Openwater is creating a device that can enable us to see inside our brains or bodies in great detail,” says a statement on Openwater’s website. “With this comes the promise of new abilities to diagnose and treat disease and well beyond - communicating with thought alone.”
Openwater doesn’t have a prototype yet, and they expect the technology will be ready come 2025.