Researchers at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, United States, recently demonstrated in The Verge how to implement a truly unique project: the ability to write on the screen of a computer by simply of our thoughts. Jonathan Wolpaw, a researcher specializing in brain diseases, has developed an interface that among other things would allow people with paralysis can communicate with the world thanks to this type of system.
As explained in The Verge, the system makes use of a hat similar to a swimming cap collecting brain activity through a series of electrodes embedded in the tissue. These electrodes allow when we focus on a specific point in a matrix displayed on the computer screen.
Each of these characters has a different pattern of flashing lights, and the system is able to interpret what points are thinking through that pattern as those electrodes. Although the writing system is slow-writing each letter took about 15 seconds to the editor of the article – the result was clear: could write with the mind. As explained by Wolpaw:
With the arrival of technologies of vital support as the domestic fans, it is possible for people with severe disabilities to live for long periods of time, but one of the big problems for people in these situations is that they want to continue to communicate. If they lose that, many of the reasons to keep living also lost.
This system, called “Brain Computer Interface”, has spent years developing, and one of its leaders, the Dr. Peter Brunner stood out as there are about 100 million potential users of this technology worldwide, including 16 million patients with cerebral palsy. The implications for all these people are therefore enormous, and in fact while some companies sell these devices.