Jepsen is known to be one of tech’s true entrepreneurial visionaries. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1995 and definitely had to go through some sort of MRI scans. If you ever had to go through an MRI scan, you should definitely know how obnoxious the sound is when this giant machine does its work. Perhaps that was the time when Jepsen started to think about a smaller, wearable version of this MRI machine, which will be less expensive and bothersome, without compromising the quality and service.
“It’s such a big idea, it’s what I wanted to do for a decade. It’s why I went to MIT [Media Lab]. It’s why I went to Google. It turned out that Google really needed me to do some other stuff that was way more important to Google at the time. I’ve been incubating this since 2005 … and I clearly see how to do it and how to realize it in a few short years,” she said.
You may wonder that who is going to make the parts. The manufacturing capacity is freed up because of the current baulk in smartphone sales. Jepsen said, “What I see are the subcomponent makers being really hungry for what the new, new thing is. My big bet is we can use that manufacturing infrastructure to create the functionality of a $5 million MRI machine in a consumer electronics price-point wearable. And the implications of that are so big.”
Her project will have some potential applications such as supporting stroke patients communicate, letting creative people do brain dumps directly to computers to monitor their imagination, and even to communicate with animals. All depends on how much work has been done in brain-machine interfaces.