Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Think It, and It Will Move 

The NY Times today reports on an upcoming clinical trial by Cyberkinetics, Inc.. The goal of their BrainGate neural implant system is to enable people with limited or no mobility to operate computers or robotic arms by thinking about it. The trials will involve having wires come through the skull from the implant, with these wires then being hooked up to cables for signal transmission. The goal is to have the whole process be wireless.

Could this eventually create a technotelepath system? You can use a PDA to beam information to another similarly programmed PDA. I'm picturing a system in which a number of people are outfitted with the wireless implants, and they could then trigger an electronic communications subroutine with each other when they are within a certain range. Add file storage capabilities, and the implications for students alone are endless! I'm thinking you'd still need some sort of external device for viewing the contents of files, but that could be something PDA sized, or at most a tablet PC. The bookstore could sell you textbook uploads from which you could selectively download to your viewing device when needed. The files could have settings which would enable their use only in the purchaser's brain storage and viewer system, to counter copyright fears. No more wheely-bags or backaches! Hmm - what's the number for R&D and Cyberkinetics?

Posted by Beth Henderson at 11:13 AM