Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) may sound like something out of a fiction film but are an amazing and current technology. Entrepreneur and engineer Elon Musk is hoping to use this technology to improve the lives of millions.
The development of BMIs – also referred to as neural interfaces – is a field of study that is rapidly growing. Massive strides in this technology’s development have been made in the past few years.
One of the most common and impressive areas where BMIs are seen as a great application is in the aiding of patients with paralysis-related spinal cord injuries.
Such injuries often lead to the loss of control over limbs or movement and BMIs can change that.
With these interfaces, it is hoped that patients will be given back control of their bodies. The systems used by BMIs analyse brain signals and use them to control devices such as robotic arms or computers.
Elon Musk and Neuralink’s Plans
Elon is the co-founder of Neuralink, a neurotechnology company based in the United States. The company is focused on researching BMIs and the many applications of such systems.
Not only are they trying to work on the technology to improve the capabilities of BMIs, but also inventing new technologies.
Elon and Neuralink want to build new devices that will help paralysed people do things many thought impossible. They also want to expand what the rest of the world can do with their minds.
With such aspirations, the millionaire is bound to get every paralysis accident law firm in the world on his side.
Helping the paralysed use their bodies again is a noble aspiration. Even legal experts are hopeful that BMIs can improve the lives of paralysis victims.
Many an expert who works at a paralysis accident law firm or in a similar environment is rooting for the successful integration of this technology.
“The development of BMIs is an exciting prospect given the devastating impact spinal cord injuries tend to have on the lives of SCI patients, particularly those who have been involved in catastrophic accidents. I look forward to seeing advancements in clinical trials,” said Rick Nehora on Musk’s medical technology. The legal professional is a lead member of a top California law firm. His team of attorneys are keen on paralysis caused by accidents and related topics.
The trust from professionals is given to Neuralink and their ideologies related to spinal injuries comes from Elon Musk’s passion for solutions. He is known to always move fast and precisely. Many are fascinated by his drive that doesn’t just stop at a ‘cure’ for paralysis.
Connecting to Mobile Devices
Neuralink hopes to combine human and artificial intelligence to allow people to control their iPhones using only their thoughts [source].
The aim is to let people control their phones’ cursor and keyboard using BMI-inspired technology.
Input will come from the person with an implant’s brain, and the device will use the input to control the smart mobile device.
If this technology can be successfully created, there is a world of opportunity to discover. People could eventually control their laptops, cars, alarm systems and more with their brains.
How Would It Work?
Currently, work is being done to develop tiny processors that will be able to connect to a human brain through very thin threads.
These threads are thinner than a single human hair. The sensors will go on the surface of the skull and relay information to the Link. The Link will sit behind the ear and connect to iPhones with the use of an app.
It sounds very simple but there is a lot of information that will pass between the wearer’s brain and the Link.
Charging the device will be simple as well and will happen completely wirelessly.
At least, that is what is planned for the device and its possible use.
Naturally, there are risks with anything that has to do with the brain. The Link will be closely connected to the brain and as such Elon and his team want to make it as safe as possible.
The company is working on a robotic system called the Neurosurgical Robot that will aid with the process of inserting the device and its threads into the places it should be going.
No human trials have been done yet, but Elon hopes to introduce this futuristic technology to the world before the end of 2020.