Mind-controlled machines on the horizon

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We live in a tech-driven society where there exists plenty of options to satisfy your technological desires. Just how far off are we from controlling devices with impulses driven by our mind? Not as far off as one might think. We haven’t arrived at the point of driving our cars or surfing the web on our smart phone from the invoking of a cerebral catalyst, but we are well on our way in that direction. There exist several consumer toys that make claims to work by imploring brain power but they are not anything jaw-dropping… yet. Wired skull caps exist to control a video game and a fan is on the market that blows a ball through a hoop from your brain power. They “read your brain’s electric activity through the non-inconsiderable damper of your skull.” Brain implants are on the table. An option for those who are paralyzed or missing appendages, a small sensor last year was implanted on the left side of a paralyzed woman’s brain. It essentially gave her the ability to tap a touchscreen on a tablet while functioning like a Bluetooth mouse. This is impressive stuff! Recently a man had 128 electrode sensors placed on his motor cortex enabling him the functionality to move individual fingers on a bionic arm. A neurosurgeon is currently working on “bionic eyes” to assist the blind. The technology is for those not able to prosper from retinal implants. To achieve a clear link to the brain’s electric signals the skull must be penetrated to implant electrodes onto the surface of the brain. The risks are omnipresent. Tested on sheep is a device called a Stentrode, which can sit within a human blood vessel. The Stentrode resides in a blood vessel collecting signals constantly. The expectation is the Stentrode will talk to an exoskeleton to reassemble mobility to paraplegic or quadriplegic patients to help gain mobility of lost limbs. The Stentrode is potentially seeing commercial availability in six years. The average person may not be able to control devices through telekinesis just yet, but we are making strides in the technology of mind control. Read more about it here.

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