Figure 1: The components of any BCI system.
nel on or off, provide a backup if the
user is fatigued, or yield other benefits.
Hybrid BCI research is beginning to
explore BCIs as multimodal interfaces
in which users can interact, in an intuitive and natural way, using BCIs as one
of the communication channels. “
Passive” BNCI systems could augment our
interactions with computers and other
devices by assessing alertness, anticipation, recognition, or other mental
states based on activity from the brain,
eyes, muscles, heart, or other sources.
New signal processing approaches
have reduced training time for some
BCI approaches and improved accuracy and reliability. Progress is also
apparent in BNCI signals that are not
acquired directly from the brain, both
alone and in combination with EEG
activity. Although the prospect of combining different signal types has been
validated, many resulting challenges
in signal fusion remain unexplored,
due largely to inadequate communication and networking among relevant
stakeholders in both the sensor and
signal processing communities.
Many new BCI devices and applications have recently been developed,
Because of progress
in all four BCI
groups are emerging.
such as control of smart homes or other virtual environments, games, prosthetic devices such as artificial limbs,
wheelchairs, and other robotic devices. A whole new category of BCI applications is being explored—devices
for rehabilitation of disorders, rather
than simple communication and control. These and other emerging applications adumbrate dramatic changes
in user groups. Instead of devices that
only help severely disabled users and
the occasional curious technophile,
BCIs could benefit a wide variety of disabled and even healthy users.
New and well-designed application
interfaces also show promise. Recent
accomplishments include BCIs as a
communication channel using advanced virtual environments, which
reduce training time while improving
accuracy, performance, and user sat-