How many of you out there have watched Iron Man? While to some of us, it’s just a movie, but this movie is now turning into reality. Shocked? Well, it’s true. If you’ve watched movies like Iron Man then you must know that a lot of futuristic things are shown where they attach things inside their body like an arc reactor in Iron Man and while these sound very futuristic and advanced in this age but it is now happening.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors made a huge commitment that had a lot of people in awe. Musk along with his team at the Neuralink startup is working on a chip that can be implanted in your brain. You can communicate with the chip directly from your brain and vice-versa. It sounds very unrealistic, but we surely are very excited about this.
With technology getting powerful with each passing day, computers, laptops, and mobile phones have become smarter than humans. But one thing that we still cannot do even with technology getting so advanced is communicate with our gadgets through our brain. We still need to type each and every word or give some sort of input to them in order for them to store information. If you want your laptop to store an image then you will manually have to import that into your system.
The hundreds of GB’s of data that is in our brain has to be transferred manually and the data transfer could be very slow, but imagine directly transferring all the information that you have in your brain to your mobile phone. The thought of this happening alone is powerful and this could definitely be the next step for technology.
But this obviously is not going to happen overnight, the movie itself took a lot of time to get into action so implementing this in real life could take years and years of research and work. This chip is being implemented in phases, the first phase is the trial and testing phase, they are using animals for this purpose to check the working of the chip.
After this, the chip is going to be tested on people who are in a dire need of it, it can be for paralyzed patients who cannot move their hands or legs or for people who cannot see. Musk stated that the goal of this chip is to “solve important brain and spine problems with a seamlessly implanted device”.
Initially, the design of the chip was quite complicated as it had a lot of wires and had to be attached behind the human ear through surgery, but now they have simplified it to the size of a coin which is much easier to install in the brain. To conduct the surgery of this implant, the team at Neuralink has built robots that can carry the operation with much more precision as compared to humans. The specifications of the chip are as follows:
- 1024 channels per link
- 23 mm x 8 mm
- Flush with skull(invisible)
- 6-axis IMU, temperature, pressure, etc.
- Megabit wireless data rate, post compression
- All day battery life
Can Neuralink cure depression?
No, Neurallink cannot cure brain disorders like depression.
The surgery is said to be performed without any general anesthesia and will not take more than an hour. Another matter of concern is brain bleeding, it’s a pretty sensitive operation since the wires are very thin, this is to be done via a surgical robot. The chip was tested on pigs, it was found to communicate with the neurons in the brain and tracks all the activity that the pig does from eating to touching anything and sends out signals. The chip tracks the patterns in the brain that are related to the activities that the pig does.
Future Of Neuralink
The main purpose of this chip is to send signals to those parts of the body which cannot move, this could be really great for people suffering from paralysis. In July 2020 this startup got the FDA approval to test this chip on humans. This new invention could definitely be scary and skeptical for many people as it’s going to come with its own dangers and disadvantages in the beginning, but we’re excited to see the implementation and its final result.