Wireless brain implant could make controlling PCs with your mind a reality

brain-flickr-greenflames09

An increasing number of technologies are being developed to help paralyzed people communicate better with the rest of the world. According to Geekosystem, Brown University is working on one such technology. The institution revealed today that it created a wireless, rechargeable brain implant that could one day be used by people suffering with paralysis to control electronic devices using their thoughts.

Brown University describes the device, which measures 2.2 inches long, 1.65 inches wide, and 0.35 inches thick, as a “miniature sardine can with a porthole.” It has a titanium shell that houses low-power circuits, wireless radio and infrared transmitters, a lithium-ion battery, and a copper coil for charging. Signals transmitted by the brain are read by electrodes, and the sardine can-like implant transmits that data to an external receiver at 24 Mbps via 3.2 and 3.8 Ghz microwave frequencies. On a full battery, it can run for up to six hours, after which it has to be charged through the scalp for two hours via wireless induction. 

Engineering professor and project head Arto Nurmiko says the device has “features that are somewhat akin to a cell phone, except the conversation that is being sent out is the brain talking wirelessly.”

While Brown’s technology sounds incredibly promising for the medical field, it will take some time before it’s used on actual patients. The university has successfully tested the implants on three pigs and three rhesus macaque monkeys, but it has yet to be approved for human use in clinical trials. 

Image via GreenFlames09/Flickr

Mobile

Wireless charging is convenient, but power over distance remains a challenge

While Qi wireless charging is fast becoming ubiquitous for smartphones, allowing us to juice up our devices by placing them on a pad, the promise of power through the air is still unrealized. We take a look at the current state of play.
Emerging Tech

China’s mind-controlled cyborg rats are proof we live in a cyberpunk dystopia

Neuroscience researchers from Zhejiang University, China, have created a method that allows humans to control the movements of rats using a technology called a brain-brain interface.
Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Mobile

Need more power now? Here's how you can fast charge your iPhone

The new iPhones have almost everything an iOS addict could want -- except for a fast charger. If you need your iPhone powered back up in a hurry, here's everything you need to know to get your iPhone charged up quickly.
Computing

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.