In a breakthrough for people with paralysis, the first wireless controls on a device are demonstrated.
Researchers at Brown University in the USA claim the device can transmit brain signals in a "single neuron-resolution and in maximum broadband fidelity."
A small transmitter, connecting to an individual's brain motor cortex, was involved in a BrainGate clinical trial.
In the journal, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering reports participants in experiments with paralysis used the device to power a tablet computer.
The participants were able to achieve the same type of speeds and precision as with wired systems.
"We've shown this Wi-Fi System is functionally similar to the wired devices that have become a gold standard," - said John Simeral, an assistant professor at Brown University.
"With appropriate similar faithfulness, the signals are captured and transmitted, so we can use the same algorithms for decoding wired devices we use".
"The only difference is that people do not have to be physically attached anymore to our equipment, which opens up new opportunities to make use of the device."
It marks the recent advance in Elon Musk and Facebook's increasingly increasing field of neural interface technologies.
Mr. Musk has recently announced that his start-up Neuralink has already tried a wireless chip to play video games in a monkey's brain.
The last two participants – aged 35 and 63 – are paralyzed by injuries to the spinal cord. They could continue to use the wireless system for up to 24 hours at home instead of in a lab.
The relative convenience meant that qualified carers could create the wireless links, which would allow the research to continue while visits to participants' homes were excluded by the pandemic.
"By means, we can look at brains at home over a long space of time in a way that was virtually impossible before," - says Hochberg, a professor of engineering at Brown University and leading clinical trial manager at BrainGate.
"This helps us to devise algorithms to ensure that communication and independence are seamlessly, intuitively, and reliably restored for people with paralysis."
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