There has been plenty of discussion about brains connecting to computers wirelessly, but it has now been done for the first time.

The concept of a computer being able to connect with your brain may seem scary to some. However, business magnate’s such as Elon Musk are investing in the concept.

While the likes of Musk are usually ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology, this time the entrepreneur has been beaten.

Researchers at Brown University, in Rhode Island, have become the first people to connect a brain to a computer wirelessly.

The research published in the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering journal, explains how the achievement was done using the BrainGate system.

What does the technology do?

The team have managed to enable communication between a brain and a computer in “single-neuron resolution and in full broadband fidelity.” The purpose of this connection has been explained in the research paper.

Science Daily have explained the current state of wireless brain and computer research:

“Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are an emerging assistive technology, enabling people with paralysis to type on computer screens or manipulate robotic prostheses just by thinking about moving their own bodies.”

The tests conducted mark a significant step forward in the emerging technology.

John Simeral, an assistant professor of engineering (research) at Brown University, and a member of the BrainGate research consortium and the study’s lead author discussed why this achievement is significant:

“The signals are recorded and transmitted with appropriately similar fidelity, which means we can use the same decoding algorithms we used with wired equipment.”

“The only difference is that people no longer need to be physically tethered to our equipment, which opens up new possibilities in terms of how the system can be used.”

How was it tested?

The study was conducted on two men who were 35 and 63. Both of the men had spinal injuries. As a result, the participants suffer from paralysis.

Despite this, the BrainGate system allowed the men to click and type on a tablet device through the power of the mind.

The participants were able to maintain the same level of accuracy and typing speed using the BrainGate for twenty-four hours.

The future

Many will hope that the BrainGate system will enable more people to use devices, despite disabling conditions. In this respect, the research is a significant step forward.

On the other hand, Elon Musk has been developing a brain chip system for more commercial reasons. One of which is playing video games with monkeys.

Celebrities have also discussed using Musk’s Nuerolink programme to become smarter.

It seems that brain and computer technology could be the future for those in need and the rich and famous. 

Image via Alamy