The Race to Revolutionise Brain-Computer Interfaces

The Race to Revolutionise Brain-Computer Interfaces
đź‘‹ Hi, I am Mark. I am a strategic futurist and innovation keynote speaker. I advise governments and enterprises on emerging technologies such as AI or the metaverse. My subscribers receive a free weekly newsletter on cutting-edge technology.

Is the future of brain-computer interfaces a promise of liberation or an invasive peek into our thoughts?

Beyond Neuralink's high-profile endeavours, numerous companies are making significant strides in the development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). These devices, ranging from non-invasive to deeply integrated, aim to transform lives, particularly for those with severe physical impairments. These startups are pushing the boundaries of technology to enhance human capabilities, especially for individuals with severe physical impairments.

Synchron stands out with its less invasive approach, utilizing a stent-based electrode array that is delivered through the vascular system to rest above the motor cortex. This method bypasses traditional brain surgery, reducing risk and recovery time. Though its placement limits data capture compared to more invasive methods, it allows users to perform simple navigational commands on computers, enhancing communication for those with restricted mobility.

Paradromics is developing high-bandwidth BCIs intended to translate detailed brain activity into speech or text. Their technology involves electrodes that penetrate deeper into the brain, increasing the resolution of the data captured. While their devices promise high functionality, they have not yet been tested on human subjects, leaving some questions about their practical application and user safety.

Precision Neuroscience offers a unique solution with its flexible, ultra-thin electrode array, designed to be less invasive and reduce the risks associated with brain surgery. Their device, resembling a strip of Scotch tape, sits atop the cortex and has been used in preliminary human trials during surgeries for other medical reasons. This startup’s approach aims to provide a safer, more scalable method for integrating BCIs.

Motif Neurotech is taking a distinctive approach to BCIs by focusing on non-invasive technology that penetrates only the skull, not the brain tissue itself. Their device, known as the Digitally Programmable Over-brain Therapeutic (DOT), sits directly above the motor cortex and has demonstrated the capability to influence motor activity, as evidenced by induced hand movements during tests. However, Motif Neurotech's aspirations extend beyond facilitating physical movement; they aim to address mood disorders, which affect a vast number of people worldwide.

Blackrock Neurotech has a lengthy history in the development of brain-computer interfaces and is a leader in high-bandwidth BCIs. Blackrock's technology involves penetrating electrodes that provide close proximity to neurons, allowing for detailed data capture about brain cell activity. This proximity enables the device to achieve high data transfer speeds, which is essential for applications that require real-time brain activity translation, such as converting thoughts directly into speech or text. Their "Utah array" has been implanted in numerous individuals since 2004 and is widely utilised across various academic labs for cutting-edge neural research.

These companies are not just competing to advance the technology but are also navigating the complex ethical landscape that accompanies the ability to interface directly with the human brain. Each is developing unique solutions that prioritise both innovation and safety, aiming to expand the capabilities of those with disabilities while considering the broader implications of their technologies.

As these technologies advance, they raise significant ethical and privacy concerns, challenging us to consider how far we are willing to integrate technology with our most private biological processes. How will these innovations redefine the boundaries between technology and the human experience?

Read the full article on MIT Technology Review.


đź’ˇ If you enjoyed this content, be sure to download my new app for a unique experience beyond your traditional newsletter.

This is one of many short posts I share daily on my app, and you can have real-time insights, recommendations and conversations with my digital twin via text, audio or video in 28 languages! Go to my PWA at and sign up to take our connection to the next level! 🚀

upload in progress, 0

If you are interested in hiring me as your futurist and innovation speaker, feel free to complete the below form.

I agree with the Terms and Privacy Statement
Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr. Mark van Rijmenam is a strategic futurist known as The Digital Speaker. He stands at the forefront of the digital age and lives and breathes cutting-edge technologies to inspire Fortune 500 companies and governments worldwide. As an optimistic dystopian, he has a deep understanding of AI, blockchain, the metaverse, and other emerging technologies, and he blends academic rigour with technological innovation.

His pioneering efforts include the world’s first TEDx Talk in VR in 2020. In 2023, he further pushed boundaries when he delivered a TEDx talk in Athens with his digital twin , delving into the complex interplay of AI and our perception of reality. In 2024, he launched a digital twin of himself offering interactive, on-demand conversations via text, audio or video in 29 languages, thereby bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds – another world’s first.

As a distinguished 5-time author and corporate educator, Dr Van Rijmenam is celebrated for his candid, independent, and balanced insights. He is also the founder of Futurwise , which focuses on elevating global digital awareness for a responsible and thriving digital future.


Digital Twin