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The keyboard is a device that, provides an interface that is reliable but also very unnatural. The mouse is only slightly less primitive, being an electro-mechanical transducer of musculoskeletal movement. Both have been with us for decades, yet they are unusable for people with severe musculoskeletal disorders and are themselves known causes of work-related upper-limb and back disorders, both hugely widespread problems. It will be a major contribution to computer interface technology to replace mouse and keyboard with brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) capable of directly interpreting the desires and intentions of computer users. In this article we describe the approach, results and promising new research directions in the realization of BCIs, with particular reference to a 2D pointing device. Three features characterize the approach. Firstly, BCI is logically analogue, second is the use of evolutionary algorithms, and the third feature is its interdisciplinarity.
Date of Publication: November 2009