Brown’s new wireless brain-computer implant

If you possess an internet connection, it’s more than likely you’ve been reading up on the next big tech trend predicted to sweep the globe: augmented reality, centering around the much-hyped visual interactivity of Google Glass.

Recently, researchers in the BrainGate program here at Brown University announced a breakthrough that has the potential to add an entirely new dimension to augmented reality: an implantable, wireless, rechargeable brain interface. The implantable Brown-computer implant has been tested on animals before, but humans have only undergone tests with a tethered BCI rather than a wireless one. An incredible video of a May 2012 test (below) shows a paralyzed woman using a tethered BCI to manipulate a bottle with a robotic arm.

According to a recent article in ExtremeTech, scientists here at Brown have implanted the wireless BCIs in animals; after 13 months of testing, the researchers are planning to move to human subjects for testing in the future.