Mar 29, 2013

First Wireless Brain Interface

Researchers at Brown University have created the world’s first wireless brain-computer interfaces, or computer control chips that can be applied directly to your brain. These chip works by broadcasting brain activity as a wireless broadband signal, similar to how a cellphone works.

The scientists tested a series of these 2.2-inch devices by implanting them into the heads of three pigs and three rhesus monkeys for nearly 16 months. The rechargeable wireless brain sensor proved itself by relaying real-time activity from 100 neurons for up to six hours.

Up until now, most of the brain-computer interfaces have been just beneath the patient’s skin and required a wired connection.

The Brown team is working to further miniaturize the device while bumping up the neural data transmission rate beyond 24 Mbps. It is also working to improve the device’s safety and reliability so that it can someday be used for clinical applications in people with movement disabilities.