The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

A Round-Up of 2022 Neurotechnology Advances


A round-up of some major moves in wearable brain-computer Interface (#BCI) in 2022, as the era of consumer #neurotechnology approaches. Will neurotechnology start to replace our existing peripheral devices? Look for brain-sensing electrodes to increasingly become part of our every day lives. Topics that I tackled in my forthcoming book, The Battle for Your Brain (St. Martin's Press 2023):

1.     Snap Inc. buys mind-controlled headband maker NextMind for an undisclosed sum. With NextMind, Snap plans to incorporate #neural interface technology into its #ar glasses the "Snap Spectacles"

2.     NextStem, a MedTech and robotics startup, announced general availability of its NextStem headsets and software development kit. Siddhant Dangi, CEO of NextStem said: "At NexStem, we are exploring the limitless use cases of #BCIs in #vr (virtual reality), #mentalhealth, and everyday use cases – paving the way for the human to become part of the #internet and the #metaverse."

3.     Cognixion introduces Cognixion ONE –a wearable window to the world, offering both speech and an integrated #ai assistant for home automation control and other enrichment" as the "world's first brain computer-interface with augmented realty wearable speech generating device." They secure funding from Verizon and Amazon.

4.     MindMaze, which takes a primarily software-based, gamified approach to treat #neurological-disorders, announced that it has hauled in $105 million in new funding.

5.     Mark Zuckerberg demoed Meta's neural interface wristband, as Meta makes progress toward using #emg technology in its major #metaverse bet. They're not there yet, but making progress.

6.     NextSense, Inc, born from Alphabet's "moonshot" division, has developed #earbuds that can collect #neural data. "Think of it like an Apple Watch or an Oura ring but for the brain, recording key data on sleep patterns and circadian rhythms."

7.     L'Oréal Group's tech incubator partnered with EMOTIV, "to launch a new [#eeg] headset device that helps consumers make accurate and personalized choices around their preferred scent. "When visiting a YSL store, customers will receive a fragrance consultation by donning a multi-sensor EEG-based headset that measures neuron responses and corresponds them to fragrance preferences."

8.     EMOTIV also partnered with X-trodes to make at-home #brain monitoring a new reality.

9.     Kernel released "Kernel Flow" – a wearable #bci device that uses near-infrared light to scan people's brains.

10.  Muse® by Interaxon Inc. (Muse Brain-Sensing Headband) announced $9.5M Series C funding to expand its brain #health and #wellness offerings.

A lot of new consumer neurotech is being previewed at #CES2023 right now. More to come in the days ahead.