Brain-Machine Interfaces

Technology Controlled by the Mind

Tech analyst Todd Townsend is here today to talk about one of the most exciting new frontiers in computer technology: brain-machine interfaces. Some of the biggest players on the cutting edge, including Elon Musk and Facebook, are interested in breaking down the physical barriers between users and machines.

At the present time, computers are lightning fast and can output data far faster than any human being could possibly consume. However, the speed from human to computer would be far less if not limited by fingers on a keyboard or the sound of a voice. Brain-machine interfaces, or
BMIs, aim to change that.

The technology, already seeing some use in prosthetic limbs, reads
bioelectric signals and translates them into commands for a machine. What this means is that a computer could essentially read minds. Even more exciting, with human beings on both ends, this could practically amount to telepathy with thought messages sent from one person’s brain through a digital cloud to another’s. Facebook’s research in the area has touched on brain sensors that could allow thought-to-text transcription at dramatically higher rates than any keyboard could match.

BMI technology is, for now, still a long ways from reaching the consumer, but the stepping stones from here to seamless thought-based control of technology are clear and promising. If you're interested in articles and companies mentioned in this segment, the below links are a great place to start.


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