Our news roundup is usually a quick recap of industry highlights from the past week, but to celebrate the new year we’re doing something a bit different. 2012 was certainly active for the BCI community, and there was a lot of news that made global headlines. The rising interest in brainwave technology and curiosity in what it does, generated from an increase in news coverage, is a positive in our eyes.
We’d have a hard time picking just one favorite story from everything that we covered on this blog. Here’s our list of 12 stories that defined the brainwave industry, our top 12 of 2012.
Criteria? Reader favorites that were major technology breakthroughs, global success stories, debate that will have long lasting impact on how we use this technology, and interfaces for the benefit of humanity.
Join in the conversation by letting us know what you think on social media, or by emailing email@example.com. Do you agree with our list, or did we miss something?
Happy new year! We’ll see you in 2013
Bypassing spinal chord injury and severe paralysis with a BCI
It was a breakthrough that was a first-of-its-kind: a patient known as ‘S3′ with severe and longstanding paralysis moved a robotic arm using a brain computer interface, in a clinical study for BrainGate. The news made headlines around the world and quickly became a reader favorite.
Panasonic and Imec develop an external EEG headset to monitor Epilepsy
This external EEG headset was developed by Imec in partnership with Panasonic, and brought the goal of affordable, responsive, and wireless epilepsy monitoring systems one step closer to reality
Translating brainstates into music using EEG or fMRI
It’s music to our ears! Researchers in China have been working to create methods, using EEG or fMRI,that translate brainwaves into music and mimic human composition. Just one of many stories like this from around the world, working with music using brain computer interfaces or consumer grade EEG is something we’ll be hearing more about
On the feasibility of side channel attacks with brain computer interfaces
When the joint research report ‘On the Feasibility of Side Channel Attacks with Brain Computer Interfaces’ (Oxford, Berkeley, Geneva) was presented and published this year, it unintentionally sparked a media firestorm of debate, along with a global discussion on ethics, transparency and data integrity. Arguably one of the most significant reports to be released this year, it is also one you’ll hear talked about for years to come
NecoMimi makes the world’s ears wiggle
NecoMimi, the anime inspired brainwave-controlled cat ears, became a global phenomenon in 2012. An overnight success that was years in the making, the headset is a single-sensor EEG device that reads the users alpha waves and translates that into the movement of the attached cat ears. We’re mega fans, and think we’ll be hearing more about these headsets in 2013.
MIT creates Brainput to recognize excessive workloads
Stressed? A team of researchers at MIT could help. Brainput, a wearable brain scanner, is designed to recognize excessive workloads and let the computer know when the user needs a break, based on brain states. For a world where stress is a leading cause of health-related aliments, there could be a huge need for a BCI that gives you signals on when to step away from the computer and ‘shut down’.
The next generation of tattoos will be wearable BCIs
2012 saw huge advances in the engineering of epidermal electronics and wearable BCI tattoos. A wearable BCI tattoo (also known as a T3, or temporary transfer tattoo) like the one linked here that was developed at UCSD, are helpful for patients who require medical sensors such as heart rate monitors, but without the bulk. The T3’s can be worn for extensive periods of time (on an area like the neck), can endure everyday conditions, and have a high resistance to deformation. Because of their flexibility, it’s hoped that these T3’s could be used as unobtrusive human computer interfaces for the medical industry, or gaming, in the future
For individuals with severe motor impairment, research at the University of Warwick opens up new possibilities
2012 was a year for changing methods of communication involving brain computer interface technology. One example is Professor Christopher James’ work at the University of Warwick, researching ways to create a product that could deliver an ease of communication similar to networked point-to-point computer systems. For individuals with sever motor or dexterity impairment, as well as locked in syndrome, what could best be described as a “brain to brain communication” aided by a machine is a fascinating extensions of the current capabilities of BCI.
European Union funds brain mapping research in Albany and Italy
The Wadsworth Center (in Albany, New York) and Albany Medical Center received funding from the European Union to bring brain computer interface technology to Ital. The funding (to the tune of $3.7 Million) will be used to continue building brain mapping technology in partnership with Italy’s NeuroMed Institute. The funding will allow the hospitals to continue with specialized brain research. The results of this research could vastly improve the resources available for patient diagnosis, especially for neurosurgeons and neurologists, at hospitals in the years to come
A brainwave reading exoskeleton to help with stroke survivors rehabilitation
A brainwave reading exoskeleton, developed in partnership by Rice University and University of Houston, has received grants to continue research in how it can be used to help with stroke survivors’ rehabilitation
Emotiv works with eye tracking software developers to create integrated platforms for the EPOC
We were really excited to hear that Emotiv was working with eye tracking software developer SMI to created an integrated platform for their EPOC headset. The software measures eye movement data together with raw EEG data streams from the EPOC headset. The combination of eye tracking visualizations and EEG data is a powerful research tool that, in a single interface, has a lot of possibilities that we may see in future applications.
Whar better way to close our end of year ‘best of’ list than on a personal note?
After many years of hard work our brain sensing headband, Muse, was revealed to the world this fall. We’re proud of the work our colleagues in the industry do, and are excited that we can contribute to their ongoing research that furthers the development of this technology, and new ways of making it accessible and affordable to all.
The InteraXon news roundup is published weekly, every Sunday night, to recap trends and breaking news in the world of brain computer interfaces and thought controlled computing. Do you have a story you’d like to submit or share? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line “News Story”) or leave a comment here.