Engineers from China Electronics Corporation and Tianjin University have created a chip known as the Brain Talker, with the device said to be capable of reading human brainwave activity and efficiently translating it to enable users to control a computer.
The technology, known as a 'brain-computer interface', or BCI, has been theorised for many decades, and has featured prominently in science fiction and techno-thriller books and films such as Neuromancer, Firefox, Ghost in the Shell, and Robocop.
Now, Chinese engineers and academics have apparently taken the next step and actually created a working BCI device, with the Brain Talker debuting at the Third Annual World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin last month.
Ming Dong, director of Tianjin University's Academy of Medical Engineering & Translational Medicine, explained that the Brain Talker chip works by identifying minor nerve information generated by the cerebral cortex, and decoding this information to enable communication between a user's brain and a computer.
#CyberpunkisNow China recently unveiled "Brain Talker", a BCI chip specially designed to decode brainwave data at the World Intelligence Congress last month.— ΜΔDΞRΔS (@hackermaderas) 3 июня 2019 г.
"Brain Talker makes BCI technology more promising for civil use since the chip is more portable, wearable & simpler" pic.twitter.com/yMjinrCF97
"The signals transmitted and processed by the brain are submerged in the background noise. This BC3 [Brain-Computer Codec Chip] has the ability to discriminate minor neural electrical signals and decode their information efficiently which can greatly enhance the speed and accuracy of brain-computer interfaces," Ming said in a press release.
"Brain Talker makes BCI technology more promising for civil use since the chip is more portable, wearable and simpler," the academic added, emphasising that BCIs "hold a promising future."
According to Chinese media, China independently holds the complete intellectual property rights to the Brain Talker chip technology.