Australian Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tan Le’s brainwave creates the Insight headset that promises to read your mind, by Andrew Purcell, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 March 2016.

An edited extract of the original article is reproduced below.

Former Young Australian of the Year Tan Le has made it her life’s work to help understand the brain, and is working on technology that one day will be able to read your mind.

In the past few years, the market for “self-tracking” technology has expanded to include devices that measure blood pressure, fertility cycles, skin temperature, air quality, sleep rhythms and salt intake. The Insight promises to read your mind.

The wireless headset is made by Emotiv, a tech start-up founded by Tan Le… who has made it her life’s work to help us understand the inner workings of our brains. From her base in San Francisco, she travels the world, educating people about the benefits of technologically-assisted mindfulness…

At 18, she was elected president of the Australian-Vietnamese Service Resource Centre. At 20, she was named Young Australian of the Year, in January 1998.

“It changed everything,” she says. “It opened my eyes to the possibilities of life. There were so many ways to be successful, so many ways to make a difference in the world.” She met prime ministers Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and John Howard, and gradually overcame her fear of public speaking.

The accolade also led to her next big break. She was granted an honorary ticket at the Western Bulldogs football club, and got to know Footy Show host Eddie McGuire. In 2001, she came to him with a pitch: get people to vote for Player of the Year by text, and my company will handle the tech.

Remember, this was 2001, long before smartphones. Le had founded Scan and Send Mobile E-Commerce (SASME) with Nam Do, another young Vietnamese-Australian. Their original idea for an attachment that read barcodes was ahead of its time, so they scrapped it to focus on messaging. When they told companies “SMS is going to be huge” the most common response was: “Why on earth would you punch in all these texts?”

McGuire took a flyer on them. The previous year 12,000 people had voted, by phone and by post. With SASME’s technology, 30,000 people were able to vote in minutes…

To view the original and unedited article, click onto Australian Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tan Le’s brainwave creates the Insight headset that promises to read your mind, by Andrew Purcell.

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