What are the commercial promises of brain-computer interfaces, and how will they further connect us to the promises of the metaverse? These interfaces, initially sensory (on the scalp or skin), and possibly through brain implants in the future, could be the eventual platforms transforming all parts of our diverse societies.
You may not have noticed, but with each passing day, we are slowly merging more and more with the technology around us. Our smartphones are our tools for instant communication and the answers to many of our questions, allowing us to focus on other things rather than that which occupied our minds in the past.
We have implanted pacemakers and defibrillators that tell the cardiologist all about our hearts and correct our irregularities. We have implanted lenses in our eyes to fix vision issues. The technology around us now, especially with our smartphones, will not represent the most common interface in our future.
What our smartphones do, and much more will likely be incorporated into our bodies. Though google glass was not a successful project, many of its users were the wrong targets, and it was also burdened with tech glitches and security concerns. It did, however, show that we could bring technology closer, supplying useful information and sending sound directly into the ear with bone conduction.
As brain-computer interface (BCI) systems progress, they will be an essential step forward in the brain-computer merge. A BCI’s role is the interpretation of the user’s neural activity. A BCI is just part of an environment that is more wired, has more sensors, and is digitally connected.
With the current generation of experimental brain-computer interfaces, using only their minds, humans can play video games, articulate prosthetic limbs, control their own limbs, work wheelchairs, and more. BCIs have the potential to communicate with patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, head injuries, and stroke, allowing them to control computers that help them speak.
BCI technology will likely take a turn for enhancing sensory connection and communication. The most common use for BCI technology is the directional control of a computer cursor. Imagine moving your mouse and clicking without the need for the mouse.
This is already being done only with electrophysiological signals (brain and blood signals to a system of sensors). This BCI control system has already been utilized by users (both humans and animals) to control the external world without the need for conventional neuromuscular pathways (speech).
The metaverse is a fusing of the real and digital worlds. It’s either an entirely simulated digital environment, as is the case of virtual reality (VR), or an overlay of a digital experience to the real world with augmented reality (AR).
Thought of in a different way, the metaverse can be a platform where users can feel the real through an animated or digital world encounter. The metaverse that combines augmented reality with the real world can give us more immersive, next-level platforms. The metaverse is intended to make our lives more natural and “realistic,” including socializing, work, and entertainment.
Scientists, researchers, corporations, and entrepreneurs are making strides with their new and advanced applications. Many of these applications are intended to augment human abilities, fulfilling desires to be stronger, smarter, and better looking.
With the brain-computer interface connection, it’s believed that part of this initiative will transform technology, medicine, society, and the future. Current devices can cultivate human abilities that exceed the former standards and are not dissimilar to the great powers of Iron Man. SuitX’s Exoskeleton can reduce lower back loads by 60%.
As these technologies continue to merge with BCIs, it’s believed that the opportunity to augment human capability will be even greater.
Elon Musk’s Neuralink has been working on a consumer-intended high-bandwidth BCI that focuses on four parts of the brain.
Neuralink has shared their video of a macaque playing “MindPong” by way of chips embedded in a few regions of its brain. The primate was trained to play the game by simply thinking about moving its hands. The goal is for future “Neuralinks” to tie the brain to the body’s motor and sensory cortices, thereby enabling people with paraplegia the ability to walk again.
Technical training inside a metaverse consists of providing technicians with advanced features and simulations capable of operating 3D representations of complex systems, instruments, or machinery.
BCIs with simulation technology will combine to empower the metaverse, allowing remote support and maintenance of devices and equipment. This could be a matter of connecting with experts who would control the repair of the system by thinking about moving their own hands to make repairs.
This would allow for the “switching on” of virtual reality engineers and technicians when an unforeseen repair occurs. It’s not so far of a step beyond this to think of the same procedure for doctors and surgeons.
Dating and socializing in virtual reality may become a common occurrence with virtual movies and museum tours. Such interactions could be enhanced with the direct brain interface that enriches the mind of our partners, adding to positive experiences from the external environment (“I wish you could see things from my point of view” would be possible).
Applications of brain-computer interfaces are spread across many fields and are not limited to military or medical purposes. The fullest realization of these technologies will certainly take time and incremental improvements, but they will be well-suited for the metaverse.
This process will require significant testing and a long period of adoption. However, brain interfaces can be game changers in their lives and incredible experiences for many.
We could eventually see a future that no longer has brain-computer interfaces but goes toward the next step of direct brain-to-brain connections. This new type of connection is a very exciting step that would bring humans closer together, allowing us to understand how we all experience the real and virtual worlds.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely the author’s opinion and not investment advice – it is provided for educational purposes only. By using this, you agree that the information does not constitute any investment or financial instructions. Do conduct your own research and reach out to financial advisors before making any investment decisions.
The author of this text, Jean Chalopin, is a global business leader with a background encompassing banking, biotech, and entertainment. Mr. Chalopin is Chairman of Deltec International Group, www.deltecbank.com.
The co-author of this text, Robin Trehan, has a bachelor’s degree in economics, a master’s in international business and finance, and an MBA in electronic business. Mr. Trehan is a Senior VP at Deltec International Group, www.deltecbank.com.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text are solely the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Deltec International Group, its subsidiaries, and/or its employees.
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