A team of scientists lead by Dr Paul Gnanayutham from the University of Portsmouth has successfully tried a system that allows patients with serious brain injuries to control computers using either their facial expressions or their brain waves.
Paraplegic accident victims (like the late Christopher Reeve) or Long time Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis sufferers like Stephen Hawking could benefit from this technology in the short term.
The system makes use of a patient's bio potential signals that are captured through an Alice-band containing electrodes and direct cursor on the computer's screen which the patient can then point to appropriate targets.
Dr Gnanayutham is looking for funding to produce a real product which could open a whole new world to brain damaged patients.
He said that 'I worked with traumatic brain-injured participants who were paraplegics, non-verbal and tube-fed to give them a voice and the ability to say 'yes' or 'no' on a computer screen by using their bio-potentials.'
Brain Computer Interface Devices is not something new. Paul Gnanayutham together with Chris Bloor and Eamon Doherty worked on this since 2000.
PS : We tried to access Dr Paul Gnanayutham's website and were greeted by this worrying message.
PPS : We've been informed that his site appears to be malware free now.