Wireless Interface Lets Monkeys and Pigs Control Computers With Their Brains

March 6, 2013 | Julia Dawidowicz

Researchers at Brown University have successfully invented a wireless brain sensor, an implantable interface that translates thoughts into commands to a computer. This is the first ever wireless version of such a device; in the past, brain-computer interfaces always required a number of bulky cords. A wireless device like this has the potential to vastly improve the way paraplegics are able to interact with their surroundings and control their lives with electronics.

The 2.2-inch interfaces have been surgically implanted in the brains of two rhesus monkeys and two Yorkshire pigs over the last sixteen months, giving the scientists plenty of time to observe the animals’ neural activity and how their thoughts correlate with their actions. Such brave little guys! While the morality behind this sort of animal testing is always a bit questionable (or just straight up freaky), and human clinical trials are still unapproved, this is undeniably big news.