About this Article
Written by: Evan Amato
Written on: May 8th, 2014
Tags: biomedical engineering, health & medicine
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About the Author
Evan is a Junior Biomedical Engineer from Menlo Park California. He enjoys writing, staying up-to-date on cutting-edge biotechnology, and long walks on the beach. He is enthralled by the potential and possibilities our brains conceal.
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Volume XVI Issue II > "Use the Force, Luke"
Since the introduction of EEG technology in 1924, the reading and processing of neural signals has reached a remarkable level of sophistication. This has allowed the invention and development of the brain-machine interface, which allows for a direct connection from the brain to the surrounding world. In many cases, BMIs allow for control of or communication with the environment when the user physically cannot, whether this results from spinal cord injury or debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Promising applications to aid disabled persons include BMI integrated prosthetics and, looking further down the road, the concept of the Smarthouse.
“Use the force, Luke”
Your alarm goes off in the morning and you are helped to your feet, as you were yesterday and as you will be tomorrow. You might have ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. You might have cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis. You might have suffered a spinal cord injury, or a traumatic brain injury. Your muscle function is severely impaired, and you have trouble getting to the bathroom, turning on the television, using your telephone. You have a neuromuscular disorder, and you depend on daily assistance to complete tasks as seemingly simple as getting out of bed each morning. However, you are able to help yourself by means of technology: the use of a brain-machine interface (BMI).