Posted on 27th April, 2020

Everything you need to know about Brain Computer Interface.

An interface that directly communicates between a brain and the device to be controlled.

What exactly it is about? Let me explain it in simple terms.

Brain Computer Interface is the interaction between an enhanced brain and a device which needs to be controlled from outside. Just imagine you are directly transmitting signals to someone else’s brain which will help them to hear, see or feel certain sensory inputs even if they are paralyzed. Brain computer Interface (BCI) is considered to be a major technological advancement in the field of science. Just imagine you are playing a video game just by using your mind and not pressing the remote with your fingertips or you are clicking pictures fully controlled by your thoughts. This is actually amazing especially for a person with severe disabilities. This can help them to work independently.

How it actually works?

It works accordingly, as our brain performs the function. As our brains are occupied by around 100 billion neurons and each nerves cells are interconnected with dendrites and axons. So, every time whenever we try to do something our neurons work. The entire process is carried out by mini electric signals that connect the neurons at the speed of 250 mph. The path through which the signals are carried out are insulated by myelin, still, some signal gets missed. Scientists are using BCI technology to detect those signals, which further interprets the true meaning of the signal and uses them for operating any system.

BCI can help any paralyzed person to control their wheelchair or write a storybook just with their thought process. It only requires an active thought process to carry on the work. The biggest challenge faced by the researchers while developing the BCI interface in the development of surgical methods that has minimum side effects.

The most commonly used BCI is a cochlear implant. For any normal person, the sound waves after entering the ear pass through multiple tiny organs which gradually passes the vibration to the auditory nerves by forming electric signals. If any person turns deaf, he will still be able to hear, if not very clear but at least will be able to understand any communication. Since the person’s auditory nerves might be functioning well but the only thing is that they are not receiving any signals.

Only few companies are pioneers in the BCI industry. Although mostly they are in the research stage, still few of them are available for commercial purpose. Some innovators are-

1. The Neural Signals are researching on a technology that can help people with speech disability, where the speech area of the brain would first transfer the signals to a computer and then finally to a speaker.

2. NASA has succeeded in typing “NASA” into Google search engine, only by controlling the thought process.

3. Japanese researchers have also developed a similar kind of technology which is of course at a very basic stage, permitting the user to regulate their online avatar in the world of Second Life.

4. Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology System, which is originally promoting BrainGate, allows handicapped people to access their wheelchair.

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