Review of Applications for Wireless Brain-Computer Interface Systems

Review of Applications for Wireless Brain-Computer Interface Systems

Soogil Woo (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea), Younghak Shin (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea), Seungchan Lee (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea) and Heung-No Lee (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6094-6.ch008
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In this chapter, to the authors review the research trends for wireless Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) systems as well as their current and anticipated applications. Wireless BCI systems have clear advantages when compared to wired BCI systems, in that they have simpler shapes and can be convenient and portable devices. Recent wireless BCI applications attempt to help people live more conveniently in many areas of life: medical engineering, rehabilitation, and everyday life.
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Over the past couple of decades, the study of Brain-Computer interfaces (BCI) has grown into a rich and diverse field, the critical goal of which is to allow the operation of various devices. The BCI system sends command signals to the receiver of a specific application. The target application then converts these signals into commands that cause movements of a target device. The more often a BCI is utilized over a wide variety of such applications, the more its importance has grown. Current applications have mostly been aimed at helping disabled people utilize machines such as robots, wheelchairs, smart TVs, computers, and home appliances.

Traditional BCI systems are wired. Arto Nurmikko, a professor of the engineering school at Brown University, emphasizes that, “current wired BCI systems constrain the action of research subjects.” (David O. 2013) This is because wired BCI systems have bulky preprocessing units. Wiring in connections is complicated due to the considerable number of wires required between electrodes and the data acquisition part. This limits the subject’s movement and the applications of BCI are restricted to those deployable within the realm of a research laboratory. Wireless BCI systems aim to remove the cables between the signal acquisition and the translation parts through the use of a modern wireless communication unit, to enhance the portability of BCI systems. As a result, wireless BCI systems can go out of the laboratory and be useful for cultivating new applications from which more people can benefit.

This chapter focuses primarily on the applications of wireless BCI systems, and introduces existing wireless BCI systems used in entertainment, biomedical engineering, and everyday life applications. In the past, researchers have proposed wired BCI system applications to diagnose diseases (Boyd et al., 1988). However, the current focus is on making wireless BCI applications that help people live more convenient lives. These applications are able to offer improvements in entertainment, games, medical engineering, rehabilitation, and everyday life, because such systems have obvious advantages over pre-existing ones. They are simpler, more convenient, more mobile, and more flexible than wired BCI systems. Finally, we will discuss future applications and anticipate the limitations of such wireless BCI systems.

This chapter will be divided into the following eight subchapters: Introduction, Background, Recent Research into Wireless BCI Systems, Applications of Wireless BCI Systems in Everyday Life, Medical Engineering, and Entertainment, Future Research Directions, and Conclusion.

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