Interface developed by the researchers at Brown University, USA, is the first device of its kind – an implantable, rechargeable and able to wirelessly transmit information. After 13 months of successful experiments performed on monkeys and pigs, the device may soon be tested on humans.
Constructed of titanium, the new interface does not require attachment to a computer so that the user can move freely. Plus, it allows scientists to monitor the brain during more complex tasks.
Brain-computer interfaces are often used to help paralyzed people or where motor functions are reduced by connecting to a robotic arm, for example, it would be important that they are not fixed in one place, as happens when are connected to a cable interface, but can move around the room – hence the interest wireless connection.
In addition, this interface allows scientists to monitor the brain during performance of complex tasks. (If monkeys can talk about social or foraging activities.)
The device resembles in appearance with a pacemaker (heartbeat regulator) has a lithium-ion battery, an inductive charging system, a chip that stores informed derived from the brain and an antenna that transmits this information to a computer.
Brain-computer interface is connected to a chip with 100 electrodes which in this study were implanted in the somatosensory cortex or the motor cortex. The 100 electrodes provide a large amount of information that interface forwards it at the speed of 24 Mb per second to a receiving device at a distance of 1 meter.
Interface consumes relatively little (about 100 milliwatts) and, after being charged for 2 hours, it can work continuously 6 hours.
This system has not yet been approved for human use, but this is the ultimate goal because the interface would help researchers studied more people with brain and would help users become more mobile and to fend for themselves with certain tasks. With this interface, users are able to move may move objects with the mind, as seen in this video, the woman manages to move a bottle almost exclusively with the power of thought.