The film matrix released in 1999 outlines such a scene. Hacker Neo finds that the seemingly normal world is actually controlled by the artificial intelligence system called “matrix”. Human beings connect the matrix through the interface behind the brain, receive all instructions sent by the matrix, and then make corresponding feedback. This is the earliest portrayal of the imagination of “brain computer interface” in film and television dramas.
Subsequently, brain computer interface became one of the favorite elements of many science fiction works. Twenty years later, the development of brain computer interface in real life is far from so powerful, and it has just begun to flourish.
A dark horse born in Harvard University
In short, brain computer interface technology refers to the establishment of a direct communication and control channel between the human brain and computers or other electronic devices. Through this channel, people can express ideas or control devices directly through the brain without language or body movements. Therefore, this technology can effectively help patients with physical disabilities communicate with the outside world or give patients the ability to control the external environment. In addition, it can also be applied to the training of some professional skills. Generally speaking, it is an interdisciplinary technology involving neuroscience, signal detection, signal processing, pattern recognition and so on.
Figure | brainco coo Yu Lei
At present, there are many companies dedicated to brain computer interface research in the world, including mind maze, kernel Co, neuropace, rythm, brainco, etc. Their application fields mainly focus on medical rehabilitation, health care, education and VR consumption, among which medical rehabilitation and education are the mainstream.
Brainco is the most typical representative.
Brainco was officially established in 2015, and the whole project was born in the incubator of Innovation Laboratory of Harvard University. Now, after three years of development, brainco has become a leader in bringing brain computer interface technology into reality.
At present, brainco has two kinds of products: one is the main product focus headring, which aims at the field of education, and improves students’ learning efficiency by real-time detecting students’ concentration and neural feedback training; One kind of products is intelligent prosthetics for charitable purposes.
Brainco coo Yu Lei believes that the fit between education and brain computer interface is that concentration has a direct impact on children’s academic performance and learning efficiency. He said: “Brainco’s earliest product was used in the field of education. Nowadays, the intelligence of each child is not very different, and the quality of children’s learning largely depends on their concentration. Brain computer interface technology can detect children’s concentration in real time in a non-invasive way, which can not only feed back teachers’ Teaching quality, but also reflect students’ learning situation, and can make them learn better through professional training Children develop the habit of efficient learning. This is also the key for us to choose to land in the field of education. “
From medical attempt to preliminary commercialization of brain computer interface
In fact, human beings first studied brain computer interface in the 1960s. At that time, a British doctor operated on his epileptic patients with very cutting-edge brain wave technology, put electrodes in the brain and close to the cerebral cortex, so as to obtain clear neural activities.
Later, Philip Kennedy, founder of the American start-up company neural signals, tried to implant microelectrodes into the human brain to record the discharge of nerve cells in the motor area; Professor bin he of the University of Minnesota demonstrated EEG remote control UAV flight in the laboratory; At the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a disabled amputee made a ball with brain computer interface and mechanical exoskeleton, which attracted global attention. Brain computer interface is brushing the sense of existence step by step, which has also become a promising direction for many bosses and technology companies in recent years.
In 2017, musk, as the “leader” of Tesla and space X, announced the establishment of neuralink, a brain computer interface company. In the same year, the world-famous company Facebook also announced that it began to study the “idea typing” project. In Yu Lei’s view, these big guys are in the game because of their accurate judgment of future science and technology and human desire to challenge the unknown field.
However, even if there are many entrants, how to commercialize is the biggest problem for all brain computer interface companies.
It is reported that brain computer interfaces are divided into two categories: implantable and non implantable. The difference between the two is that implantable electrodes have much higher accuracy in obtaining brain wave signals than non implantable head rings and scalp patches, and can encode more complex commands, but non implantable ones are more secure. At present, almost all products developed to the public are non implantable. Therefore, in terms of technology itself, it is difficult to collect accurate EEG signals or EMG signals.
In addition, for the application of BCI in medical clinic, how to quickly learn and control prosthetics and wheelchairs needs to be solved. Moreover, in addition to the overall solution of technology and application, the price and sales channel of products are also the key to determine whether the road of commercialization is smooth or not.
Brainco took the first step. Yu Lei introduced that brainco Fushi headring had officially entered the stage of commercial sales in December 2018.
There are two versions of “Fu Si headband”. One is a personal version for students, which can be used at home and can effectively improve their attention through 21 days of training; the other is for schools and educational institutions, where teachers can see the changes of students’ concentration during class, give targeted guidance to students, and also according to the students’ reaction in class Make some adjustments to the teaching. This product includes hardware head ring and software app. Students can improve the efficiency of learning through the focus training course on the software side. “
Turning to the sales channels, Yu Lei said that the sales of Fushi Touhuan mainly includes several channels: first, the intelligent terminal covers all provinces and cities through retail agents; One is the e-commerce platform; The last channel is schools and educational institutions.
Make fu Si head ring into a platform product
Not long ago, Ma Huateng asked on Zhihu: “what basic scientific breakthroughs will affect the Internet technology industry in the next decade? What changes will be brought about by the integration and innovation of industrial Internet and consumer Internet?” the highest praise was the translation of an article on brain computer interface. Brain computer interface is also known as the next technology outlet after artificial intelligence.
In this regard, Yu Lei obviously has more experience. He said: “we are sure to achieve more than 400000 sales of Fu Si intelligent head rings this year. Now the signed sales contract has been able to achieve this goal, and the market is more optimistic about us.”
For the future, brainco plans to make FOSS head ring into a platform product and gradually open the SDK. In the near future, perhaps more brain computer interface companies like brainco will stand out and grasp the pulse of the scientific and technological era.