Mary Lou Jepsen is on a mission to make MRI less confining, expensive, and spatially intimidating. The former Google and Facebook executive is busy getting Openwater off the ground, a wearable MRI that claims to take more accurate images of the body than a traditional machine.
Named by the singer Peter Gabriel, Openwater’s device looks like a stocking cap lined with specialized LCD screens and sensors that scan the body with near-infrared light that dash across the body like a game of laser tag. The device measures the light and by doing so, creates a hologram. “We’re making it totally transparent,” Jepsen told Recode. “So then you can see inside of our body whether you’ve got cancer, whether you’ve got a clogged artery, whether you’ve got bleeding, your neurological state.”
Jepsen claims that Openwater’s technology will become more powerful than today’s MRI and produce a more accurate imaging resolution. Openwater also eliminates the claustrophobic feeling associated with MRI, as the device doesn’t require patients to position themselves inside a daunting machine.
Advances in neuroscience technology might soon help us read minds, and Openwater is dedicated to making telepathy a reality. In conjunction with its MRI capability, its flexible design and sophisticated imaging techniques could be the dawning of the era of mind reading devices. Like her other endeavors, Jepsen isn’t taking her time with this project. She imagines Openwater’s debut will arrive in the next three to eight years.