Elon Musk’s Neuralink may have just secured $205 million in Series C funding, but there’s another brain-computer interface in the news that is pulling ahead in the race to market. According to a recent Bloomberg Quint article, New York-based Synchron Inc. received the FDA’s green light to begin human trials to determine if their implants work safely and could eventually be sold in the U. S.
The implanted device is called Stentrode, and it’s smaller than a matchstick. It is installed in the brain of paralyzed patients and helps them control digital devices like computer cursors via thought. This is achieved via a small wire connected to a second implant in the chest that has a transmitter that sends signals to a computer. Synchron’s trial will consist of six patients, and if successful will advance the implant to the next step in the lengthy approval process. It’s estimated that the Synchron device could be on the market in 3-5 years.