Paralysed Man Posts World’s First ‘Direct-Thought’ Tweet Using Brain Chip
Philip O’Keefe has made the first ‘direct-thought’ tweet, after having a computer chip implanted into his brain.
O’Keefe, a 62-year-old from Australia, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He made the tweet using just his thoughts and a brain computer interface created by neurotech startup Synchron.
The tweet read:
No need for keystrokes or voices. I created this tweet just by thinking it. #helloworldbci.
According to a press release from Sychron, O’Keefe commented on how the technology had helped him regain his ‘independence’ after posting his tweet.
When I first heard about this technology, I knew how much independence it could give back to me. The system is astonishing, it’s like learning to ride a bike – it takes practice, but once you’re rolling, it becomes natural. Now, I just think about where on the computer I want to click, and I can email, bank, shop, and now message the world via Twitter.
Speaking of the tweets O’Keefe composed, Oxley said, ‘They highlight the connection, hope and freedom that BCIs give to people like Phil who have had so much of their functional independence taken away due to debilitating paralysis.’
O’Keefe’s chip was implanted in April 2020, after his condition deteriorated and he was left unable to undertake
The chip was inserted through the jugular vein and reportedly took four hours after implantation to be able to input text into a computer.
The technology has allowed O’Keefe to reconnect with his loved ones by sending emails and playing games on the computer.
Next year, researchers in the US will conduct the first in-human study of Synchron’s brain computer interface.
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CreditsThe Independent and 1 other