Elon Musk's Neuralink is working on a completely implantable brain-machine interface (BMI) that will enable people with paralysis to monitor devices and even their limbs in the future.
Musk tweets, “First Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs.”
In a blog post, the California-based company said that it needs people with paralysis to be able to directly use their neural activity to control computers and mobile devices with speed and ease. According to the company, it will allow them to interact more easily through text, follow their interest on the web, express their creativity via photography and art, and play video games.
“Later versions will be able to shunt signals from Neuralinks in brain to Neuralinks in body motor/sensory neuron clusters, thus enabling, for example, paraplegics to walk again,” Musk said in a follow-up tweet.
Musk's tweets came after Neuralink announced a macaque monkey called Pager playing a "pong" video game with its mind, which the company nicknamed "MindPong." According to the company, Pager was implanted with two Neuralink units, one in the left motor cortex, which controls movements on the right side of the body, and another in the right motor cortex, which controls movements on the left side of the body.
The brain-implant manufacturer used its N1 Connection, a 1,024 electrode fully-implanted neural recording and data transmission system. “MindPong is an initial demonstration of the potential capabilities of the N1 Link,” the company said.
Neuralink aims to further improve the Connection in order to assist people suffering from neurological conditions and disabilities. According to the company, it could be used to regain physical mobility.
“To achieve this, we'd use the Link to read signals in the brain and use them to stimulate nerves and muscles in the body, thereby allowing the person to once again control their own limbs,” it explained.
Neuralink wants “to build a safe and effective clinical BMI system that is wireless and fully implantable that users can operate by themselves and take anywhere they go.”
“The device is implanted flush with skull & charges wirelessly, so you look & feel totally normal,” Musk said.
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Source- The Hindu