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[21 May 2009 | Comments Off | 1,481 views]

IRISH SCIENTISTS are developing life-altering technology which will allow people with severe physical disabilities to communicate and operate appliances with nothing more than the power of a thought, writes HELEN GALLAGHER. The University of Ulster (UU), in collaboration with the Universities of Warsaw in Poland and Bremen in Germany, have teamed up with industry giants Philips, Telefonica, and Twente Medical Systems International to make this idea a reality.”

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[21 May 2009 | Comments Off | 2,097 views]

“It is a horrifying concept: being buried alive. Even more terrible is the prospect of living trapped in our own bodies, unable to move or communicate. It’s called locked-in syndrome. Characters like Captain Pike and Jean-Dominique Bauby, (one fictional, the other not) describe the fear and frustration of living with a healthy mind in a broken body. But there is a real-life hope. As its name suggests, Cyberkinetics’ Braingate Neural Interface device allows patients to open the door between their mind and the outside world. Utilizing years of research studying brain signals, Braingate can read impulses in the brain using tiny implanted wires and translate those impulses into commands for computer cursors, wheelchairs, and perhaps even robotic limbs.”

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[21 May 2009 | Comments Off | 3,422 views]

“Three pill-size electrodes on the throat pick up electrical signals generated between the brain and the vocal cords. A processor in the device then filters and amplifies the signals and sends them to an adjacent PC, where software decodes them and turns them into words spoken through the PC’s speakers. By placing the electrodes on the neck and “speaking” silently through vocal-cord movements (but without moving the mouth), the wearer generates enough neural activity to trigger this chain of events.”

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[18 May 2009 | Comments Off | 2,019 views]

“It’s not unusual for new technologies to first enter popular consciousness as toys. In the 1st century, Heron of Alexandria invented the aeolipile: a metal ball with curved nozzles sticking out of it, perched on stilts. With water in it, and flame beneath it, the resultant steam would make it spin, whiz, whiz, whiz. Such fun. Nobody understood they were looking at a steam engine. Hence, the Industrial Revolution didn’t start for another 1700 years.”

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[15 May 2009 | Comments Off | 1,571 views]

“Four applications using the properties of the OpenViBE programme have already been developed by scientists. Three prototypes involve virtual reality and video games. The user, wearing helmets equipped with electrodes, will be able to pilot a space ship, play handball or move around in a virtual world, depending on the application. A fourth prototype, designed as a communication aid for people with reduced mobility, makes it possible to write on a computer simply by using thought.”

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[13 May 2009 | Comments Off | 1,684 views]

“Technological advances have helped many disabled people perform normal functions again. Helping blind people to see is beyond today’s technology. But tomorrow’s technology may be able to do it. A research at San Diego’s Salk Institute is trying to create a prosthetic device that can restore sight.”

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[13 May 2009 | Comments Off | 1,229 views]

“Light switches, TV remote controls and even house keys could become a thing of the past thanks to brain-computer interface (BCI) technology being developed in Europe that lets users perform everyday tasks with thoughts alone.”

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[8 May 2009 | Comments Off | 1,503 views]

“Besides healthcare and research, more immersive VR would also help in training, potentially greatly improving the results of flight or driving simulators. Slater also envisions VR environments being used to train people to use prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs through mind control before trying them out in the real world. A brain-computer interface (BCI) developed for just such a purpose was tested in the Presenccia project and in a similarly named predecessor called Presencia, which received funding under the EU’s Sixth and Fifth Framework Programmes for research, respectively.”

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[5 May 2009 | Comments Off | 2,361 views]

“BIOPAC Systems, Inc., announces new functional near infrared (fNIR) optical imaging systems to measure oxygen level changes in the prefrontal cortex of human subjects. The fNIR system provides researchers with real-time monitoring of tissue oxygenation in the brain as subjects take tests, perform tasks, or receive stimulation. It allows researchers to quantitatively assess brain functions — such as attention, memory, planning, and problem solving — while individuals perform cognitive tasks.”

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[3 May 2009 | Comments Off | 1,649 views]

“Mattel has inked an exclusive multi-year partnership with NeuroSky, the “consumer brain-computer interface technologies” company that birthed Mattel’s much publicized Mindflex game, to develop a new category of games and toys that operate using the power of concentration.”