Without physical interaction and without the need to control the technology simply by thinking about what you want to do, the idea is long-standing, a hallmark of science fiction’s vision of what life will be like in the future.
It does not come true in the real globe as a novelty or as assistance that will alter the life of many individuals who, because of their physical disability, caused by illnesses or injury, have difficulty communicating and who are unable to communicate with technology. In the worst cases, it is very difficult to understand whether an individual with a serious brain injury is aware of the environment as they may not be able to move or even interact.
In the first two decades of the 21st century, considerable progress was being made in brain-computer technology in capturing and translating brain waves into control signals that give fresh methods for evaluating and diagnosing medical situations following traumatic brain injuries. In addition to assisting to interact with patients who are not responsive and have conscious illnesses such as non-reacting wakefulness syndrome, minimally aware states and locked-in syndrome, patients in post-stroke rehabilitation are using methods that assist them to interact with a range of physical impairment.
NeuroCONCISE, which spans neurotechnology research at Ulster University, was named the first recipient of an E&T-funded Innovation of the year award at the IET’s 2018 Innovation Awards by using artificial intelligence to translate brainwaves into control signals. The Judging Panel also won one of 14 finalists in the category of E&T, who said, “the innovation and its promises to assist the improvement of the quality of life of’ locked-in’ patients are especially impressive.”
NeuroCONCISE commercializes a wearable, noninvasive system that enables individuals to communicate without moving, with their own minds and interact with computers. Applications for rehabilitation, diagnosis, incremental, assistive and entertainment communication are expected.
It is constructed around a computer-brain interface that translates motion or perception modifications connected with the stimulus in instructions that enable the user to determine behavior or to interact without motion.
Electrical activity in the brain is detected via electroencephalography by the use of flexible conduction detectors incorporated into any type of headgear. Signals are transferred to any computer operating the NeuroPrecise application via Bluetooth and are translated into instructions.
CEO Damien Coyle, teacher of neurotechnology in Ulster, director of the Research Center for Smart Systems University and head of the study at the School of Computing, Enterprise, and Intelligent Systems, heads NeuroCONCISE. In 2006, Coyle completed a Ph.D. involving the development of algorithms for brainwave analysis and visualization and was given substantial funding in 2009 for the test research of patients at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Ireland.
The company finances from Invest Northern Ireland and a renowned Enterprise Engineering Fellowship of the Royal Academy resulted in the establishment in 2016 of the NeuroCONCISE spin-off company. Innovative UK, Invest Northern Ireland, and Innovation Ulster Ltd and Techstart NI have since been providing further support.
The neurotechnology Platform evolved in this era into fully advanced products composed of the concealable electronics FlexEEG based on a versatile substratum for the collection of high precision brain signals. NeuroPrecise algorithms translate brain activity into control signals. The cloud-based infrastructure of EncephaloCloud is used to store, analyze and view big brain information from any place in real time.
The firm also has a video game called NeuroSensi, which enables individuals to regain hand control after a stroke. It spells rehabilitation and challenges patients to enhance their skills as neurotechnology is controlled.
Anybody can build apps for a platform connection. To date, two of the NeuroCONCISE’s own end-user apps have been tested with patients: NeuroShine targets individuals with serious brain injuries and involves awareness evaluation, neuromodulation training and a Q&A system called NeuroReflect.