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Students have engineering on the brain

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Posted April 3, 2013
Ed Boyden, seated, and Joost Bonsen, right, co-teach the class "Neurotechnology Ventures." Rutledge Ellis-Behnke, center, also co-taught the class during its first few years.  PHOTO: DONNA COVENEY

Ed Boyden, seated, and Joost Bonsen, right, co-teach the class “Neurotechnology Ventures.” Rutledge Ellis-Behnke, center, also co-taught the class during its first few years.
PHOTO: DONNA COVENEY

With the recent launch of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and ScienceMIT News examines research with the potential to reshape medicine and health care through new scientific knowledge, novel treatments and products, better management of medical data, and improvements in health-care delivery.

Neurotechnology may sound dauntingly complex, but in practice it can include ideas as straightforward as recognizing computer users by the exact way they press buttons.

One such prototype, developed at MIT, works by sensing subtle differences in the timing and pressure applied by a user in pressing a particular sequence on a touchscreen divided into four colored squares. In a recent demonstration of the system, graduate student Ralph Rodriguez activated a tablet device by tapping the colored squares in the right sequence. He then relocked the device, revealed the correct color sequence, and passed it around the room. Even knowing the right code, none of the 20 people could get the device to unlock.

Read more at: massachusetts institute of technology

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