Opportunities Ahead of Brain Machine Interface (BMI) Firm Neuralink Starting Clinical Trails

Elon Musk’s ambitious project on Brain Machine Interface (BMI), Neuralink has recently got Food and Drug Administration (FDA) USA approval for the first-ever human trials. The company aims to help patients with mental paralysis to communicate, control, and sense external activities using technology with the help of neural signalling.

In one of the recent Tweet, Neuralink stated, “This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people.”

They have further informed through the tweet that the recruitments for the clinical trials are not yet open, but they will announce further developments very soon.

What is Brain-Machine Interface (BMI)?

Brain-Machine Interface is the branch of Next-Gen Computing evolving quickly with recent research and developments.

BMI is essentially a method of connecting the Human Brain’s electrical activity with external devices, most of the time a computer or a robotic limb. It can enable human beings the ability of muscle-independent communication and control capability of external devices.

How Does Neuralink’s BMI Work?

It is reported that Neuralink’s BMI has three key components: a chipset, thousands of electrodes, and insulated wires to connect the electrodes to the human mind. Neuralink has developed a robotic surgical procedure kit as well to implant its BMI in the human mind.

The chipset developed by the Neuralink, N1, 4mm square once planted in the human mind will be able to decode neural signals. It will be transmitting them wirelessly to the Neuralink BMI applications. These applications then will decode neural signals for external actions and user intents.

Neuralink is initially aiming to give human beings the ability to control their electronic devices with brain signals. Users will be able to play the games and scroll through the screens with their thoughts instead of using their fingers and thumbs.

What is Next?

Neuralink project aims to solve various medical conditions by using BMI. They hope to restore human sensory capabilities such as vision and motor functions lost in accidents or by birth. They also aim to help paralysed patients with speech and sensory corrections.

Opportunities in Defence Sector:

The US Department of Defence (DoD) has invested in BMI or Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) to augment it with human and armed capabilities. According to the report from the RAND Corporation the BMI will be able to help in military ops in the following ways:

1. Augmenting human abilities for

  • Faster information sharing and improved situational awareness.
  • Faster decision-making and better weaponry control.
  • Enhanced armed personnel memory, attention span, and cognitive ability.

2. Better understanding of the human experiences with

  • Better traction of stress and cognitive workload.
  • Improved understanding of how psychological stress impacts cognitive and motor performance.

3. Enhanced ability to succeed in difficult situations with

  • Silent search and rescue operations with brain-machine communication.
  • Silent communication mediums without risk of radio waves interferences.

4. Newer health treatment options

  • People not able to walk will be able to use limbs and communicate with added devices.
  • They will be able to operate machines losing even some vital body parts.

As BMI is a new technology and Neuralink is the first company to start clinical trials, newer use cases are to be discovered. From healthcare to the use of daily gadgets, from Army to Civilians, BMI technology’s future looks very useful in solving some of the critical challenges of humans. People with various disabilities will be able to control and work with external machines with the help of BMI. Humans with speech deficiencies will be able to communicate well with BMI applications. Since the future of BMI looks very promising with the vast opportunities lying ahead, huge investments and organised involvement of the research & development companies are predicted in the coming future.

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