Patient with ALS in Australia first person to tweet using direct thought via brain-computer interface

ALS Patient Tweets “Hello, World!” Using Brain Implant

Philip O’Keefe, an Australian man with ALS, has become the first person to tweet using only his thoughts.

O’Keefe received an endovascular Stentrode brain computer interface (BCI) in April 2020, which allows him to control digital devices with his mind.

In a tweet on December 25, 2022, O’Keefe wrote, “hello, world!” He used the hashtag #HelloWorldBCI to share his experience with the world and offer inspiration for the future.

O’Keefe’s tweet is a significant milestone for the field of BCI research. It shows that BCIs have the potential to restore independence and communication for people with ALS and other paralyzing conditions.

How does the Stentrode BCI work?

The Stentrode BCI is implanted in the brain through the jugular vein. It contains a small chip that records electrical signals from the brain. These signals are then sent to a computer, which converts them into commands that can be used to control digital devices.

The Stentrode BCI is designed to be user-friendly and dependable. Patients can learn to use it in a matter of weeks.

What are the benefits of the Stentrode BCI?

The Stentrode BCI can help people with ALS to regain a degree of independence. They can use it to control their computers, phones, and other devices. They can also use it to communicate with their loved ones.

The Stentrode BCI could also be used to help people with other paralyzing conditions, such as spinal cord injury and stroke.

What are the limitations of the Stentrode BCI?

The Stentrode BCI is still in its early stages of development. It is not yet clear how long it will last or how effective it will be in the long term.

The Stentrode BCI is also not a cure for ALS. It cannot stop the progression of the disease.

What is the future of BCI research?

BCI research is rapidly advancing. Scientists are working on developing BCIs that are more powerful, more user-friendly, and more durable.

BCIs have the potential to revolutionize the way we treat a wide range of neurological conditions. They could help people with ALS, spinal cord injury, stroke, and other paralyzing conditions to regain their independence and quality of life.

More information on BusinessWire here.

The Captcha Conundrum & Accessible Alternatives

Bridging the Gap: Accessible Captcha and the Quest for Inclusion

For developers of accessible websites, discerning legitimate users from automated systems presents a constant challenge. Balancing security with inclusivity can be a tightrope walk, especially when considering traditional Captcha methods. While we at Visits Unlimited employ invisible systems to minimize accessibility barriers, even these solutions aren’t foolproof.
Raghavendra Satish Peri’s insightful article on dives deep into this dilemma, exploring various Captcha methods, their pros and cons, and the accessibility pitfalls encountered by massive platforms like Wikipedia.

This brings us to the story of an accessibility advocate attempting to contribute to Wikipedia. Faced with a mandatory Captcha during registration, their frustration echoes the plight of many visually impaired users who encounter accessibility roadblocks even on the most widely visited websites. The lack of readily available alternatives, like audio verification or one-time mobile codes, further underscores the need for robust yet inclusive Captcha solutions.

The quest for truly accessible Captcha goes beyond mere convenience. It’s about ensuring equal access to online platforms for everyone, regardless of their abilities. This demands a shift in approach, with a focus on developing innovative methods that not only deter bots but also empower users with diverse needs.

One promising avenue lies in leveraging advanced user behavior analysis algorithms. These can track interactions, mouse movements, and other subtle user signals to distinguish humans from automated scripts. Such solutions hold the potential to be both invisible and highly accurate, creating a seamless experience for all users.

Ultimately, inclusive web design cannot afford to compromise on security. However, by embracing innovative technologies and prioritizing user-centric solutions, we can bridge the gap between accessibility and security, paving the way for a truly inclusive online experience for everyone.

You can read the full article on Digital A11Y’s accessibility blog here.