The time has come, Brain-Computer Interfaces are not science fiction anymore but a tangible reality that we can buy, In fact, the market for this technology is expected to reach USD 288.4 million by 2025, from USD 184.2 million in 2019.
While Elon Musk’s Neuralink might start human trials this year, there are many other innovative companies offering wearable BCIs that don’t require surgery.
Non-invasive BCIs are set to change the way we communicate with our devices (smartphones and computers) and even with one another. Brain-machine interfaces allow us to control our gadgets by using our minds, thus they make it possible for people with disabilities to move robotic prostheses with their thinking.
Brain-Computer Interfaces are opening a whole new world of business applications. From dangerous jobs that already utilize robots to manufacturing, and even the consumer space. BCIs create a new way for humans to interact with technology, whether it be their smartphones, smart speakers, voice assistants, cars, and even each other.
Startups and established companies alike are realizing the promise of brain-machine interfaces, and right now, in 2021 these are the top 3 companies already selling mainstream BCIs at an affordable price:
- NextMind: This French company is focused on letting your mind take control of your devices in real-time. real-time device control. Its main product consists of a wearable sensor “that translates brain signals instantly from the user’s visual cortex into digital commands for any device in real-time” and sells at a price similar to the one of a smartphone. You can have a look at how it works here:
- Neurosity: This company is dedicated to enhancing your ability to focus. Their main product, called Crown, is a 9-ounce wearable EEG device that detects when you’re focused and productive as well as when you’re distracted determines your ability to focus by sensing your brainwaves. Its software used AI to learn patterns of things that get you focused, and can play just the right music from Spotify to get you back in the zone. If it works, the 900 dollars price tag might even be cheap. The video below shows cofounder Alex Castillo introducing its technology.
- CRTL-Labs: Facebook has partnered with this company to build another non-invasive neural interface, in this case, it listens to muscle twitches to recreate the “0s and 1s” of neurons and send the signals into machine learning to decode a person’s intention. This network is fed back to the wearer to create a symbiotic relationship. CRTL-Labs wearable device does not use a headband but a wristband instead. You can have a look at the link below for more information.
Neuroscience technology is exploding and no doubt we are going to see a boom of new products during the next decade. The companies listed above are working towards specific use cases but there are many more to come.
Some companies like Neuralink are taking longer to reach the market because they use direct-brain sensors while others use non-invasive devices like the ones mentioned in this article and therefore they can move much quicker.
What each brain-machine interface company has in common is that they see the world as a connected place, in which humans and machines start to fuse. The barrier between your mind and your devices is only going to get more and more blurry. It’s more than voice, facial recognition, mental health, focus, AI, and augmented reality, it’s all these things coming together under the power of your brain.