The advancement of medical technology, especially brain implants, has moved forward by leaps and bounds, that is for sure. Just last month alone, we talked about how a brain implant might help paralyzed people walk again, not to mention restore, implant or remove memories. Having said that , this microchip implanted in paralyzed Ian Burkhart has enabled the 23-year old to control his finger movement for the first time in a few years, using nothing but the power of thought alone, now how about that?
A special microchip was placed in the segment of Burkhart’s brain that controls the movement of his arms and hands a couple of months ago, and this remarkable implant has enabled him to create history, being the first quadriplegic who could move his own fingers.
Measuring 0.15” wide, this chip has 96 electrodes which are capable of reading thoughts, and will be hooked up by a port in Burkhart’s skull to a computer using a standard issue computer lead. The electrodes will do the work of deciphering messages that Burkhart sends to his brain, while the computer will perform the relevant “translation” into commands, which will then be sent to his forearm that has been slid through a “sleeve” which has additional electrodes. These electrodes will then stimulate the muscles in his hand, hence making them to obey accordingly.
This is a far longer route than normal, but it is better than nothing. It took all of just one-tenth of a second to transform thought into action. Hopefully future advancements would shrink down this phenomenal breakthrough to a more portable form factor.