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Coma No More: The Brain-Computer Interface and Locked-in Patients

The brain-computer interface (BCI) is in the news again, this time in Telluride, Colorado, where Doctor Brendan Allison of the UC San Diego Cognitive Science Department spoke on Wednesday about the brain-computer interface and how it might help coma or other locked-in patients.

Sound familiar?

Art-school dropout Chandra would do anything to apologize for her role in her wife’s comaincluding enroll in the first round of human trials for an internet-access brain implant.

Ah, there it is. And this isn’t the first time the EMPATHY sci-fi saga has reflected advancements in or hearkened back to the brain-computer interface in real life. We’ve already seen how BCI technologies are being put to use in gaming, music, and art, and with another echo of the EMPATHY series appearing in the real world, I can’t help but feel as though we’re hurtling toward a BCI-infused world at an a more accelerated rate than ever before.

As the article in the Telluride Daily Planet states, “patients who years ago couldn’t communicate with their loved ones because they couldn’t move or speak can today [via a brain-computer interface] ‘chat with friends, use email, surf the Web, control their room temperature or TV, and convey major life decisions,’ according to Allison.”

And Allison is, unsurprisingly, right. In fact, I’ve written about these applications on this blog before, and they seep into the margins of the EMPATHY series as well.

The question remains, however: is our art-school dropout Chandra ultimately successful in using a brain-computer interface to communicate with her comatose wife?

The answer lies at the heart of the EMPATHY saga itself, and with that series mirroring real life more and more every day, there’s never been a better time to get ahead of our world by hopping into the speculative one in which Chandra lives.

So grab your copies of books one and two below. The summer reading season is here, after all, and book three will be here before you know it.

Imminent Dawn

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | NineStar Press | Kobo | SmashwordsGoodreads | Author Website

Mourning Dove

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | NineStar Press | Kobo | Smashwords | GoodreadsAuthor Website

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