Researchers at UC Berkeley have configured a computer to decipher brain signals and reconstruct them into words, in essence then, giving them the ability to read people’s thoughts.

The development comes as a breakthrough for mute individuals in particular. Just by stringing together sentences in their thoughts, the computer can generate a voice for them. Eventually, as researcher Robert Knight told The Guardian, an implantable aid could be as common “as grandmother getting a new hip.”

The current setup requires patients—already undergoing brain surgery—to have electrodes laid across the surface of their brain. The hope is that the procedure won’t be anywhere near as invasive down the line.

[via Gizmodo]