Paralyzed Man Posts First ‘Direct-Thought’ Tweet Using Brain Chip
A man diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) made history by posting the world’s first “direct-thought” tweet using a computer chip implanted in his brain.
Australia’s Philip O’Keefe, 62, posted the tweet using only his thoughts and an interface created by the neurotech startup Synchron.
The tweet, posted to Synchron CEO Thomas Oxley’s account, read: “No need for keystrokes or voices. I created this tweet just by thinking it. #helloworldbci.”
According to The Independent, the Stentrode device was initially implanted in April 2020 via O’Keefe’s jugular vein. The neurotechnology has enabled O’Keefe to play simple computer games like Solitaire and even communicate with loved ones by email.
“When I first heard about this technology, I knew how much independence it could give back to me,” O’Keefe said after posting the tweet.
“The system is astonishing, it’s like learning to ride a bike – it takes practice, but once you’re rolling, it becomes natural. Now, I just think about where on the computer I want to click, and I can email, bank, shop, and now message the world via Twitter.”
Oxley said the tweets are “an important moment for the field of implantable brain computer interfaces.”
“They highlight the connection, hope and freedom that BCIs give to people like Phil who have had so much of their functional independence taken away due to debilitating paralysis,” Oxley said.