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ThinkScreen is an electronic visual thought processor device marketed and released by Microsoft in December 2000. The device is comprised of headgear that connects to a set of speakers and/or a projector.  The headgear processes your thoughts and transmits them through the projector and/or speakers. This was the first device of its kind that allowed you to instantly see or hear your thoughts.

The device was initially made to make word-processing more efficient. At the time, words and short phrases were the only thoughts capable of being transmitted instantaneously.  Microsoft later released another model that was capable of transmitting images and videos through thoughts. This technology proved to be useful in the criminal justice system. It made it easier for witnesses to identify criminals. It also completely enhanced the accuracy of police facial composite sketches.

The next model allowed sounds to be transmitted from our thoughts. The ThinkScreen became a major success in the music industry with this new enhancement. It became a popular tool for music composers and songwriters. Kanye West famously mentioned the ThinkScreen in the chorus of his hit song “Stronger”:

“I’m writing this song on my ThinkScreen,

It only makes me stronger,

I can’t use pen and pencil no more,

Because that takes much longer.”

Since then, Microsoft has released newer and more improved models of the ThinkScreen. The ThinkScreen was once available for mass consumption; however, several major scandals and ensuing lawsuits halted the production of the ThinkScreen. The scandals involved abusive use that surfaced after the ThinkScreen improved their thought-to-video resolution to 1080p. Consequently, newer models are held to a limited release and its usage is monitored by the FCC.

[originally by Vincent Sanchez for Comm 100W Spring 2015]