A technological bond bridging man and machines
The brain, the most complicated neural network to exist gets attention more than ever. Technology has benefited a great deal for some neurological disorders. The use of this technology has been beneficial to treat, understand and relieve a lot of individuals with motor impairments. The field of neurotechnology has gained popularity in the recent times and has become a hot topic of research.
This section of the blog entails the story behind the inception of neurotechnology along with some anecdotes. A break-through in neurotechnology called Brain Computer Interface or BCI has made a difference for a lot of individuals. These BCIs in the form of wearable technology has been presented in this section. Along with wearable technology, recent research around neurotechnology, white papers and industry insights will be discussed
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
“I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains.”
― William Shakespeare
“Quite people have the loudest minds” – Stephen Hawking
Brain Computer Interfaces, tech meets thoughts…
BCI technology has resulted in a better quality of life for individuals with neuromuscular disabilities. Individuals can communicate and control external appliances such as a wheelchair or a robotic arm by just thinking. In addition, this technology has also aided people with speaking disabilities to directly control spelling software installed on a computer to translate their thoughts into words. The future of BCI technology will assist these individuals and others with challenges for more satisfying communication and movement.
There has been a lot of ongoing research about the human brain and neurotechnology has been one of the hot topics of research. From pharmaceutical drugs to brain scanning, neurotechnology affects nearly all industrialized people either directly or indirectly, be it from drugs for depression, sleep, ADD, or anti-neurotics to cancer scanning, stroke rehabilitation, and much more.
Wearable technology has been widespread that everyone has been using it. These devices range from a simple fitbit tracker, sleep monitor, smart watches to complex brain computer interfaces. The devices have immensely benefited individuals with simple problems with sleep cycle to overcoming motor impairments.
The two-potential clinical uses that brain-computer interface has led to are neuroprosthetics and neurorehabilitation.
Neuroprosthetics has been studied for long time and effective gains are evident. Initially, prosthesis would include the use of wood, metal pegs and hooks.
Later, robotic arms were the biggest breakthrough, wherein the hand would look a bit more natural. Today, neuroprosthetics have created a natural and a more realistic hand powered with myoelectric prostheses.
Is this technology safe and secure?
Though there are potential benefits, the use of wearable technology does employ some security issues. There has been some ongoing research to address these issues in order to mitigate such risks for an individual use. The section at the end presents some cutting edge research around the security and privacy issues with the use of brain computer interfaces. This knowledge will enable individuals to be aware of the shortcomings with the technology and be more cautious.
BCI is the environment that bonds the interaction between computers and the human brain. Initially BCIs had to be implated through surgery which was an invasive technique but with advancement in technology, we have non-invasive BCIs today. Thanks to the efforts to companies like Emotiv and Neuralink for introducing such products avoiding complex surgeries
Protecting our thoughts
The study of electro activity in the human brain has been around for over a century but in recent years it has become more relevant for the control of everyday applications. Brain-computer interfacing (BCI) has been a serious study for at least the last 30 years and this has led to a variety of lightweight devices that may be applied for improved human control over automata.
“I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle
Bonaci, Calo, & Chizeck (2014)
Bonaci, Calo and Chizeck (2014) present various methods to determine the privacy and security issues in brain-computer interfaces read more.
Li et al. (2015)
Li et al, (2015) have chiefly focused on the security and privacy challenges with the use of brain-computer interface technology. read more.
Martinovic et al. (2012)
Martinovic et al (2012) stress the security risks associated with the use of consumer-grade BCI devices read more.
Sundararajan K et al. (2018)
A greater number of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are being used in restorative and nonmedical fields, including advertising, gaming and media outlets. read more.
For more interesting articles and research, check this space