The idea of using brain implants to help those who are paralyzed do certain things isn’t new, but the reality doesn’t always match the concept. For example, there are implants and eye-tracking tech that allows those who are paralyzed to communicate with others, but this is usually a rather slow process.
However, researchers from Stanford University have come up with a potentially much better system. According to the study, the researchers claim that the system they developed has the potential to rival the texting speed of able-bodied adults. This method involves trying to convert handwriting movements from brain activity into on-screen text.
In the study, they asked their subject to imagine that he was writing normally with a pen on a piece of ruled paper, and the activity from his thoughts were then transcribed by an algorithm that decoded his hand and finger motion. Based on the results, it seems that their subject managed to achieve a “writing” speed of 18 words per minute with a 94.1% accuracy.
To give you some context, an average adult can text at 23 words per minute on a smartphone, so at 18 words per minute, it’s actually not too bad. We’re not sure when this tech will actually be implemented and used, but for now the researchers are conducting more trials to test their system’s efficacy and also safety.