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Braingate2: Your Mind Just Went Wireless

Are you ready to control the world with your mind? The possibility just got a little stronger. A few weeks ago, Singularity Hub highlighted some of the many accomplishments of Braingate, the neural interface hardware and software that allows you to control a computer mouse with your brain. Those scientists have just started the next round of clinical trials: Braingate2. If you, or someone you know is interested in learning more about participating in the trials, you can do so here.

Future braingates will use wireless communication.

Future braingates will use wireless communication.

For the rest of us, Braingate2 means one thing: one step closer to controlling the world with our minds. Right now, the Braingate neural interface is a wired connection running out of a metal nub embedded in the skull. The Braingate2 team, however, is developing a wireless interface. Sensors attached to the neurons in your brain would be implanted as with the original Braingate technology. Now, however, power, and control would be supplied by a radio frequency signal (RF) into the brain. Information would flow out via infrared (IR) laser. This RF in, IR out approach takes advantage of the permeability of your skull to certain frequencies that don’t interfere with your brain’s functions. It’s already been tested on non-human primates with success.

But wait you say, receiving a radio signal in your skull and shooting a laser out of your brain is cool, but where’s the hard science? Well, while the Braingate team is mucking around in your motor cortex, trying to pass signals on to computers, robotic wheelchairs, and prosthetic limbs, they’ll also be studying neuron behavior. As part of their research, Braingate2 hopes to explore how different diseases, emotions, and awareness levels (i.e. if you’re asleep) affect the neuronal firing patterns. These guys are going into the brain to tinker with motor neurons, but they could learn a lot about the brain functions in general. I hope they pass that information on to the groups who are hoping to create computer simulations of the brain, like FACETS or Blue Brain.

In the end, I wish John Donoghue, Leigh Hochberg and the other researchers well with Braingate2. As we’ve said before, this technology not only has huge potential for those people who are literally trapped in their minds, it also promises a new mode of human-machine interaction for all of us someday. When we have braingates in our skulls allowing us to control computers, cars, and robots, the world will be a much cooler place. All it will take to get there is a little mind over matter.

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15 comments

  • Nick says:

    Let’s not forget the inevitable ad-ware and spy-ware that will be being beamed at our heads. Suddenly wearing tin-foil hats to protect oneself (actually, probably carbon nano-tube sheets, much better RF protection) from controlling radio waves will actually be… necessary.

  • Nick says:

    Let’s not forget the inevitable ad-ware and spy-ware that will be being beamed at our heads. Suddenly wearing tin-foil hats to protect oneself (actually, probably carbon nano-tube sheets, much better RF protection) from controlling radio waves will actually be… necessary.

  • omar alcina says:

    I am very impressed by your program of braingate 2. My wish is to know if yout device allows injured brain cells to send signals to the upper limbs to allow mobility and hand dexterity.
    I am a civil ingeneer who had dreams of a masters degree abroad and a traffic accident destroyed those dreams.
    Your program has given me hope, thats why I need more information.
    kind reegards.
    Omar Alcina Fernàndez

  • omar alcina says:

    I am very impressed by your program of braingate 2. My wish is to know if yout device allows injured brain cells to send signals to the upper limbs to allow mobility and hand dexterity.
    I am a civil ingeneer who had dreams of a masters degree abroad and a traffic accident destroyed those dreams.
    Your program has given me hope, thats why I need more information.
    kind reegards.
    Omar Alcina Fernàndez

  • Aaron says:

    Hi Omar,
    Singularity Hub is a website that writes tech articles, we are not affiliated with BrainGate2 in any way. If you want to learn more about joining the Braingate2 clinical trials please follow this link:

    http://www.braingate2.org/clinicalTrials.asp

    and contact the people there.
    Best of luck,
    Aaron

  • Aaron says:

    Hi Omar,
    Singularity Hub is a website that writes tech articles, we are not affiliated with BrainGate2 in any way. If you want to learn more about joining the Braingate2 clinical trials please follow this link:

    http://www.braingate2.org/clinicalTrials.asp

    and contact the people there.
    Best of luck,
    Aaron

  • Anonymous says:

    Bad idea. No piece of computer hardware that connects to the human brain should be possible to hack, ever.

  • Anonymous says:

    Bad idea. No piece of computer hardware that connects to the human brain should be possible to hack, ever.

  • Nick says:

    dude this is awesome. we can totally control other people with my mind. the age of the Jedi is finally here!!!!!!!

    • bob says:

      you are an idiot!!! this technology isn’t about controlling other people’s minds; it is about using your mind to control inanimate objects such as a electronic wheelchair or a mechanical prosthetic arm. If someone loses their arm in a war or something, a mechanical prothstetic arm can be attached which they will be able to use their mind to control.

  • Nick says:

    dude this is awesome. we can totally control other people with my mind. the age of the Jedi is finally here!!!!!!!

    • bob says:

      you are an idiot!!! this technology isn’t about controlling other people’s minds; it is about using your mind to control inanimate objects such as a electronic wheelchair or a mechanical prosthetic arm. If someone loses their arm in a war or something, a mechanical prothstetic arm can be attached which they will be able to use their mind to control.

  • Kevin Vogelsang says:

    I'm tempted to be a test subject, perhaps another day….

  • Kevin Vogelsang says:

    Definitely not inevitable.
    If it's initially about communicating with a computer-enabled device, this isn't a problem. Perhaps a nuisance. No more a problem than it is now.
    If it's about actual matrix-style input, it's harder to say. I think computer-augmented intelligence would be very good at recognizing any sort of spam. We aren't the same as computers.

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