Towards Mainstream Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs)

For decades, various companies, people, and institutes have worked on Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) systems aimed at healthy users, including pilots, drivers, soldiers, and the public at large. Advancements such as dry electrodes, wireless EEG amplifiers, improved electronics and freely available software have made BCIs much more practical, powerful, affordable, and easy to development. Facebook, Elon Musk, and others have publicly announced large-scale BCI projects over the last few years. Nonetheless, even people like BCI researchers and MSR staff generally don’t use BCIs.

This talk will review some prior efforts toward BCIs for healthy users and an overview of the current status of BCI research. I will then address some common errors made when considering BCIs for healthy users and present a more practical framework for BCI adoption. I will address the large-scale BCI research activities and how they may affect available BCI technologies and other factors like public perceptions of BCIs. I will also present other relatively new efforts to help BCIs become more prominent, such as BCI hackathons, Cybathlons, and awards.

Brendan Allison
UC San Diego