Paralyzed people face daily problems handling certain devices or to manipulate objects. They can be adapted to their circumstances but according to the degree they have not always can do. For situations like these, the Brain Computer Interface (BCI) is postulated as a technology capable of converting brain waves into instructions that can be processed by a machine.
After more than ten years studying the use of these systems by Blackrock Microsystems, a consortium founded by researchers at Brown and a company of Utah, has marketed the first wireless device that is connected to electrodes, are able to pick the brain waves to handle different objects such as the control of a TV, a computer or a wheelchair among others.
This little device transmits data from the brain to a speed of 48 megabits per second using a power of 30 milliwatts. And inside, a processor is responsible for amplifying the peaks of electricity of neurons, digitize it and transmit them to receiver that will make the statement in question. It can operate at a range of a few meters away.
Being marketed does not mean be a technology within the reach of everyone. Cereplex-W, the device name, it costs $15,000 and currently not being sold to end patients for one simple reason: has not yet been tested on humans. It is marketing, yes, but to laboratories and research centers.
The trials in patients with paralysis begin shortly. The list is several candidates and the final test should serve to polish its performance and see if it finally is a viable option for those who need these devices to make their life a little easier.