HealthDay News — Researchers have been making progress in developing mind-controlled robotic limbs, with one patient's case reported in an issue of Science.
The patient has two tiny chips implanted in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), which controls the intention to move. That's in contrast to the handful of other paralyzed individuals who've been given similar implants. But in those cases, the chips have been placed in the brain's motor cortex, which is involved in the direct execution of movement. It's a key distinction, explained senior researcher Richard Andersen, PhD, a professor of neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Signals sent from the brain's motor cortex are involved in the details of movement — like "lift the arm" and "extend the arm." Signals from the PPC are "higher level," and related to overall goals, such as "I want to pick up that cup." So devices implanted in the PPC could make it easier for people to control a robotic arm with their thoughts, and make those movements more fluid and natural, Andersen toldHealthDay. He said two additional patients have since had chips implanted in the PPC, and a few patients at other research centers have had similar devices implanted.
For now, the robotic arms are confined to the lab setting. After surgery, patients are left with terminals protruding from the skull that are used to connect the implanted chips to a computer system that decodes the signals being sent from the brain — such as, "I want to pick up that cup." That message sparks the robotic arm to move. For the approach to work in real life, the technology will have to go wireless, Andrew Pruszynski, PhD, the author of an editorial published with the study, and an assistant professor at Western University in London, Canada, told HealthDay.
Aflalo T et al. Science. 2015; doi:10.1126/science.aaa5417.
"Full utilization of current implants in this way would be difficult without open access to their internals. Fortunately, threading a 16-spot electrode snake into your cochlea is not the only road to acoustic nirvana. New bone conduction technologies that make Google’s Glass sound downright primitive are already available. Cochlear corporation, one of the three big implant makers in the US, makes a device they recently trademarked as BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid). The BAHA is not your grandpa’s hearing aid; nothing goes inside the ear canal. The key element here is a screw that impedance-matches sound vibrations to your skull, and also provides an anchor for the speech processor and associated electronics.
The weak link for implants has always been communication through the skin. The BAHA’s titanium screw has a special surface treatment that aids in osseointegration (integration with the surrounding bone). The external part of the device then screws in through a gap in the skin. In theory, the entire vibratory stimulator could be put inside the bone implant. The attachment to any external processor, if needed, could be with done similarly to the way the IMS retinal prosthesis does it, with subcutaneous magnets. More likely, however, directly attached external controllers will remain critical components for these devices. Rather than a thick feed through as is the current BAHA design, something more comparable to a body piercing could adequately serve as the physical interface for an even more user-friendly device."
"...What do you get when you mix Google Glass and EEG? That’s the question that the people at Ottawa-based Personal Neuro are on their way to answering. Given the buzz around how Google Glass can be used in healthcare, and our longstanding interest in brain-computer interface, we took the opportunity to speak with Personal Neuro’s CEO, Steve Denison, about his company and what they’re building."
The Nymi is the first wearable authentication technology that allows you to take control of your identity through cardiac rhythm recognition. Authenticate once and remain authenticated until the wristband is removed. Move beyond passwords, pins and locks and interact with the technology that fills your daily life with proximity detection and task-based gesture control. The Nymi presents a new and exciting system that grants you access for being you!
"....SelfScreens covers the latest in all things wearable technology. We do it all - from being the first to find the latest and greatest Glassware (via our site GoogleGlassFans), to providing you with easy-to-follow how-to guides to unlock your Android Wear device's full potential. "
"....Within The Human Locomotome Project, we have created a new technology utilizing mathematical models and diagnostics tools that can identify risks of age-related diseases on early stages through analysis of everyday activity movement. Access to this data provides awareness of your health factors, allowing for early prevention and lifestyle changes."
It is with great joy that MG and I write to let you know that the Uberveillance edited volume is finally in stores and available for purchase. We encourage you to ask your libraries to purchase the volume. Of significance are the coming together of well-known voices in the surveillance field to discuss the definition and impact of uberveillance, including Katherine Albrecht, Roger Clarke, Mark Gasson, Kevin Haggerty, Steve Mann, Ellen McGee, Kevin Warwick, Marcus Wigan and numerous authorities on the topic of microchipping people. This volume contains 17 book chapters, and 7 interviews and panel presentations as well as full referencing of source materials in some 500 pages.
PART A The Veillances
Chapter 1 Introduction: On the “Birth” of Uberveillance (pages 1-31) M. G. Michael (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Chapter 2 Veillance: Beyond Surveillance, Dataveillance, Uberveillance, and the Hypocrisy of One-Sided Watching (pages 32-45) Steve Mann (University of Toronto, Canada)
Chapter 3 Uberveillance: Where Wear and Educative Arrangement (pages 46-62) Alexander Hayes (University of Wollongong, Australia)
PART B Applications of Humancentric Implantables
Chapter 4 Practical Experimentation with Human Implants (pages 64-132) Kevin Warwick (University of Reading, UK), Mark N. Gasson (University of Reading, UK)
Chapter 5 Knowledge Recovery: Applications of Technology and Memory (pages 133-142) Maria E. Burke (University of Salford, UK), Chris Speed (University of Edinburgh, UK)
PART C Adoption of RFID Implants for Humans
Chapter 6 Willingness to Adopt RFID Implants: Do Personality Factors Play a Role in the Acceptance of Uberveillance? (pages 144-168) Christine Perakslis (Johnson and Wales University, USA)
Chapter 7 Surveilling the Elderly: Emerging Demographic Needs and Social Implications of RFID Chip Technology Use (pages 169-185) Randy Basham (University of Texas – Arlington, USA)
PART D Tracking and Tracing Laws, Directives, Regulations, and Standards
Chapter 8 Towards the Blanket Coverage DNA Profiling and Sampling of Citizens in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (pages 187-207) Katina Michael (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Chapter 9 ID Scanners and Überveillance in the Night-Time Economy: Crime Prevention or Invasion of Privacy? (pages 208-225) Darren Palmer (Deakin University, Australia), Ian Warren (Deakin University, Australia), Peter Miller (Deakin University, Australia)
Chapter 10 Global Tracking Systems in the Australian Interstate Trucking Industry (pages 226-234) Jann Karp (C.C.C. Australia, Australia)
Chapter 11 Tracking Legislative Developments in Relation to “Do Not Track” Initiatives (pages 235-259) Brigette Garbin (University of Queensland, Australia), Kelly Staunton (University of Queensland, Australia), Mark Burdon (University of Queensland, Australia)
Chapter 12 Uberveillance, Standards, and Anticipation: A Case Study on Nanobiosensors in U.S. Cattle (pages 260-279) Kyle Powys Whyte (Michigan State University, USA), Monica List (Michigan State University, USA), John V. Stone (Michigan State University, USA), Daniel Grooms (Michigan State University, USA), Stephen Gasteyer (Michigan State University, USA), Paul B. Thompson (Michigan State University, USA), Lawrence Busch (Michigan State University, USA), Daniel Buskirk (Michigan State University, USA), Erica Giorda (Michigan State University, USA), Hilda Bouri (Michigan State University, USA)
PART E Health Implications of Microchipping Living Things
Chapter 13 Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990–2006 (pages 281-317) Katherine Albrecht (CASPIAN Consumer Privacy, USA)
PART F Socio-Ethical Implications of RFID Tags and Transponders
Chapter 14 Privacy and Pervasive Surveillance: A Philosophical Analysis (pages 319-350) Alan Rubel (University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA)
Chapter 15 Neuroethics and Implanted Brain Machine Interfaces (pages 351-365) Ellen M. McGee (Independent Researcher, USA)
Chapter 16 We Are the Borg! Human Assimilation into Cellular Society (pages 366-407) Ronnie D. Lipschutz (University of California - Santa Cruz, USA), Rebecca J. Hester (University of Texas Medical Branch, USA)
Chapter 17 Uberveillance and Faith-Based Organizations: A Renewed Moral Imperative (pages 408-416) Marcus Wigan (Oxford Systematics, Australia & Edinburgh Napier University, UK)
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Compilation of References
About the Contributors
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Roba Abbas, University of Wollongong, Australia
Greg Adamson, University of Melbourne, Australia
Katherine Albrecht, CASPIAN, USA
Anas Aloudat, University of Jordan, Jordan
Michael V. Arnold, University of Melbourne, Australia
Emilia Belleboni, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain
Rafael Capurro, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA
Kenneth Foster, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Amal Graafstra, Amal.net, USA
Mireille Hildebrandt, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Peter Hyland, University of Wollongong, Australia
Nicholas Huber, Accenture, Australia
Indrawati, Institut Manajemen Telkom, Indonesia
Eleni Kosta, K. U. Leuven, Belgium
Ronald Leenes, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
Avner Levin, Ryerson University, Canada
Michael Loui, University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, USA
Noëmi Manders-Huits, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Keith W. Miller, University of Missouri – St. Louis, USA
Lyria Bennett Moses, University of New South Wales, Australia
Christine Perakslis, Johnson and Wales University, USA
Laura Perusco, Macquarie Bank, UK
Kenneth Pimple, Indiana University – Bloomington, USA
Joseph Savirimuthu, University of Liverpool, UK
Alan D. Smith, Robert Morris University, USA
Charles Smith, Mesa State College Alumni, USA
Judith Symonds, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Samuel Fosso Wamba, Rouen Business School, France
John Weckert, Charles Sturt University, Australia
HOW TO CITE THE VOLUME
Michael, M.G. and Katina Michael. "Uberveillance and the Social Implications of Microchip Implants: Emerging Technologies." IGI Global, 2014. 1-509. Web. 24 Dec. 2013. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4582-0
Michael, M., & Michael, K. (2014). Uberveillance and the Social Implications of Microchip Implants: Emerging Technologies (pp. 1-509). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4582-0
Michael, M.G. and Katina Michael. "Uberveillance and the Social Implications of Microchip Implants: Emerging Technologies." 1-509 (2014), accessed December 24, 2013. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4582-0
"...We’ve created a beautiful smartphone app and desktop software to make storing, sharing, and curating Autography fast and simple wherever you are. Check out our ecographic to learn how the complete experience works together"
"....Hi! We're Amanda and Ville from Sweden. We got the mission to find out what lifelogging is. So we went on a trip around the world and met with people on the forefront of the lifelogging trend. People like Thad Sterner who's working with Google Glasses and Gordon Bell who is a researcher at Microsoft and Steve Mann who is the founding father of the whole lifelogging movement. We filmed the whole trip and the material will be edited into a documentary premiering later this winter. Stay tuned, and follow us on blog.memoto.com!"
Dr. McCoy’s tricoder isn't looking too futuristic these days. Not only are real life versions of the Star Trek device under development, but some new medical devices are making it look a bit old fashioned. Take, for example, the ViSi Mobile vital signs monitor built by Sotera Wireless of San Diego, California. This wearable sensor pack uses Wi-Fi technology and is claimed to allow doctors using a tablet or smartphone to remotely monitor patient vital signs with the accuracy of an intensive care unit.
A paralyzed woman has been able to feed herself chocolate and move everyday items using a robotic arm directly controlled by thought, showing a level of agility and control approaching that of a human limb.
Jan Scheuermann, 53, from Pittsburgh, was diagnosed with a degenerative brain disorder 13 years ago and is paralyzed from the neck down.
"...A father who lost his arm in an accident six years ago has been given a new lease of life by a hi-tech bionic hand which is so precise he can type again. Nigel Ackland, 53, has been fitted with the Terminator-like carbon fibre mechanical hand which he can control with movements in his upper arm. The new bebionic3 myoelectric hand, which is also made from aluminium and alloy knuckles, moves like a real human limb by responding to Nigel's muscle twitches. Incredibly, the robotic arm is so sensitive it means the father-of-one can touch type on a computer keyboard, peel vegetables, and even dress himself for the first time in six years."
"...Our passion for making life better for people using brainwave technology is what sparked InteraXon’s drive to create Muse. Advances in EEG technology means it is now accessible, portable, affordable, and no longer limited to medical labs. We knew there was a need for a brainwave sensor that merged beautiful design with robust software."
Despite there being much hope over the last few decades on the possibility of equal success with retinal implants that was had with cochlear implants, the declarations by dozens of universities and institutes proclaiming that they are the FIRST to get a real retinal implant working properly in a real RP patient abound. Here is another story of this kind.
An Artificial Retina with the Capacity to Restore Normal Vision
NEW YORK (August 13, 2012) — Two researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have deciphered a mouse's retina's neural code and coupled this information to a novel prosthetic device to restore sight to blind mice. The researchers say they have also cracked the code for a monkey retina — which is essentially identical to that of a human — and hope to quickly design and test a device that blind humans can use.
The breakthrough, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), signals a remarkable advance in longstanding efforts to restore vision. Current prosthetics provide blind users with spots and edges of light to help them navigate. This novel device provides the code to restore normal vision. The code is so accurate that it can allow facial features to be discerned and allow animals to track moving images.
But what dictates success? A patient who will one day say that they are seeing the world like it is and not in shades of black...
This last week I have become acutely aware that there are NO clinical trials for such innovations as retinal implants because they require an invasive surgical procedure. No right-minded person with clear vision would ever partake of a clinical trial where their vision might be impaired or where they may risk complete blindness.
So on the one hand these proclamations made by scientists across the world are valid... on the other hand, we aren't there yet...
Here is a TEDx talk that squarely indicates where we are at today.