Your Future Brain-Machine Implant: Ultrasonic Neural Dust

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Test Equipment

Tech

Remember those slender gleaming spikes Keanu Reeves and pals jacked into the backs of their noggins to go virtual-reality tripping in The Matrix? That’s certainly an image: prong-to-brain networking, your neurons serviced by skewer.

But then the movies — what can you do? The future of brain-machine interfaces may be less, umm, visible if cutting-edge research by scientists at the University of California Berkeley proves viable.

One of the biggest challenges for brain-machine interfaces (BMI) is how to create one you could use indefinitely (like for a lifetime). Even in The Matrix, connecting to the cloud seems awfully inconvenient: sit back in a chair, stab yourself in the skull. Existing real-world BMI systems are clumsier still. As KurzweilAI notes: “Current BMI systems are also limited to several hundred implantable recording sites, they generate tissue responses around the implanted electrodes that degrade recording performance over time, and are…

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