New Zealand Scientists Compete with Elon Musk in Brain-Computer Interface Technology

New Zealand scientists develop non-invasive brain-computer interface tech to rival Neuralink, aiming to transform human-digital interaction without implants.

Mazhar Abbas
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New Zealand Scientists Compete with Elon Musk in Brain-Computer Interface Technology

New Zealand Scientists Compete with Elon Musk in Brain-Computer Interface Technology

Scientists in New Zealand are working to develop brain-computer interface (BCI) technology that could rival the efforts of Elon Musk's Neuralink. BCI technology allows people to control computers and digital devices using their thoughts, opening up new possibilities for how humans interact with machines.

While Neuralink is moving forward with large-scale human trials of its invasive BCI implants, New Zealand startup TransAxon is pursuing a less invasive approach. TransAxon's technology aims to instruct brain cells to develop new nerve connections that can interface with computers, without the need for implanted devices.

"We believe New Zealand can become a world leader in this technology," said TransAxon CEO Michael Witbrock. "Our approach has the potential to transform how people interact with information and perform tasks, in a way that is safer and more accessible than invasive implants."

Why this matters: The development of advanced BCI technology could have far-reaching implications for fields like medicine, education, and productivity. With the technology becoming more practical and accessible, it may fundamentally change how humans interact with the digital world.

TransAxon's prototype is still at least a decade away from being ready for human use, according to Witbrock. However, the company's progress highlights the growing competition in the BCI space, as various teams around the world race to develop the most advanced and practical solutions.

Australian company Synchron is also working on BCI technology and has already begun human trials. Synchron's device is implanted through the blood vessels, which the company says is safer and less invasive than Neuralink's approach of drilling holes in the skull.

"We are seeing rapid advancements in BCI technology from multiple companies and research teams," said Dr. Jane Thompson, a neuroscientist at the University of Auckland. "While there are still significant challenges to overcome, the potential benefits are enormous." The future of humans and machines becoming more integrated is now in sight."

In the race to develop practical BCI technology, New Zealand scientists are positioning themselves as key players in this cutting-edge field. With TransAxon's innovative approach and the country's strong research capabilities, New Zealand could indeed become a world leader in BCI technology in the coming years.

Key Takeaways

  • New Zealand startup TransAxon developing non-invasive BCI tech to rival Neuralink.
  • TransAxon's approach aims to instruct brain cells to interface with computers without implants.
  • BCI tech could transform human-digital interaction in medicine, education, and productivity.
  • Australian company Synchron also working on BCI tech with implants through blood vessels.
  • New Zealand positioning itself as a global leader in the rapidly advancing BCI field.