Researchers Link a Human Brain to the Internet

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 15:00

Researchers and biomedical engineers at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa have developed a way to connect a human brain to the internet in real time.

According to a report in Medical Xpress, The technique, which has been dubbed Brainternet, streams brainwaves on the internet in real time, essentially turning the brain into an Internet of Things (IoT) node on the World Wide Web.

The whole brain-internet connection works with the help of Emotiv EEG, a powered, internet accessible device that converts electroencephalogram (EEG) signals, or brainwaves into live streams. When worn by a person, the device transmits signals to a Raspberry Pi computer, which streams the data gathered into an application programming interface and displays brain activity on an open website, which anyone can access.

“Brainternet is a new frontier in brain-computer interface systems. There is a lack of easily understood data about how a human brain works and processes information. Brainternet seeks to simplify a person’s understanding of their own brain and the brains of others. It does this through continuous monitoring of brain activity as well as enabling some interactivity,” explains Pantanowitz. a lecturer in the Wits School of Electrical and Information Engineering, who supervised fourth-years Jemma-Faye Chait and Danielle Winter in its development.

Essentially, if programming becomes advanced enough, you’ll be able to send electrical signals – perhaps in the form of data – to the brain of the person whose noggin is hooked up to the EEG reader. That’s a long way off though, as the brain is a very different type of processor compared to a digital computer.

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