A team of researchers in the U.S. has given three quadriplegic people the ability to use an off-the-shelf tablet computer with impressive ease. The researchers used a BrainGate2 neural interface that relies on an intracortical electrode array implant to allow direct communication between the brain and the tablet. The high-end system connected to the tablet via good-old Bluetooth so that the user was able to control a cursor with traditional point-and-click usability.
The patients were able to do all sorts of things, like emailing relatives, web browsing, selecting music to listen to, and just about anything else that anyone else can do on a tablet.
Two of the patients even chatted directly with each other in real time, perhaps a first for severely disabled people.