Recently Kernel (The Neuroscience Startup) has created their first Brain-Computer Interface Helmet known as Kernel Flow, Let’s see How Kernel Neurotech Helmet Works and the basic infrastructure behind it.
- Idea Behind Kernel Neurotech (The Neuroscience Startup)
- about Kernel Neurotech Founder
- About Kernel Neurotech and its Revolutionary Helmet (Idea behind kernel Neuroscience Helmet)
- How Kernel Neurotech Helmet Works (Working of kernel flow helmet)
- Future of Kernel Flow and company
Idea Behind Kernel Neurotech (The Neuroscience Startup)
Currently, the world dealing with things like stress anxiety or depression due to the constant bombardment on our mind from things like social media or your job’s office space is getting more and more difficult and competitive to survive in this rat race.
How about a magical helmet that would allow you to automatically understand and fix your emotions or thoughts could it even conceivably record what you’re dreaming.
while that sounds like science fiction I assure you that it is not and could be possible this year already, it’s a real product and in this blog, you’ll learn all about it.
To give humans the ability to control machines and computers just with our minds but unlike Neuralink which currently focuses on medical devices Kernel pretty quickly shifted its focus onto building a non-invasive brain-computer interface for average consumers in the form of a simple helmet that you can put onto your head to immediately start quantifying your brain.
In mind this much safer and nicer sounding approach opens up the door for the average person to even have more abilities than the majority of high-end brain imaging machines, today that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take up whole operating rooms but that what exactly is kernel’s vision in the field of Neuroscience Technology.
about Kernel Neurotech Founder
Kernel Neurotech was founded and still owned by Entrepreneur and CEO Bryan Johnson, he is an American Entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and author.
He was also founder chairman and CEO of Braintree a company that specializes in mobile and web payment systems for e-commerce companies.
Braintree acquired Venmo in 2012 for 26 million dollars the combined entity was acquired by PayPal in 2013 for 800 million dollars.
The coincidence that both Elon musk and Bryan johnson had ties to paypal due to their previous companies as quite interesting with the newly acquired capital of hundreds of millions of dollars.
He then followed in musk’s footsteps of creating a very risky company in an in-proven emerging field and this is how the company kernel came to be in existence.
About Kernel Neurotech and its Revolutionary Helmet (Idea behind kernel Neuroscience Helmet)
Let’s talk about how Kernel came with the idea of building a helmet that can partially manipulate human thoughts, let’s see what is the design thinking behind the revolutionary concept behind the Kernel Flow Helmet.
The kernel is very upfront about the abilities this BCI (brain-computer interface) helmet has and what they intend to use it for unlike Neuralink and Paradromics.
They state that this is soon intended to be a consumer device and is not just mainly focused on medical applications like treating Neurodegenerative diseases or helping patients with their inability to move around on their own.
You might wonder if a pure non-invasive helmet solution would be enough to get any kind of information about how you’re feeling or what you’re doing KERNEL showed us their capabilities in their introduction blog post, where they managed to identify what song a person was listening to or which person they were hearing talk just by having their brain activity monitored in real time.
The most near-term functionality of kernel’s revolutionary brain computer interface helmet will be the ability to always know the current state of your mind have you slept too long have you slept too little.
For an example, are you in a creative state of mind in which you could optimally write or draw works of art the headset will be able to know everything about your brain and automatically derive suggestions on what you should do to better your inner feeling or performance in whatever you want to improve in your ability to learn new things.
With the knowledge of when the optimal time is to do so and when it isn’t will be a huge improvement at the rate of which you learn things and save so much time.
50 prototypes have already been sent to organizations to figure out awesome and innovative applications for this new one-of-a-kind device they are confident enough to say that by 2030 the far majority of people in the world will have.
In future even more advanced version of this headset in their own homes but that is not all just like bruan Johnson said that the future of humanity will be a combination of human and artificial intelligence.
Kernel’s objective is to read and write the underlying functions of the brain to out-compete or at least co-evolve alongside machines the ability to alter information in your brain opens up even more potential of what this device can offer.
For example having it automatically suppress feelings of anxiety depression or stress without you even knowing it had done that or having it treat neurological problems like concussions of which people can suffer without even being aware of it.
Do you want to feel happy just up the happiness slider on your kernel after the kernel helmet could simply make you feel feelings of happiness.
You have insomnia just tell the kernel headset how long you want to sleep and it would help you to fall asleep and stay asleep for as long as you want to without having to take any medication with potential side effects.
How Kernel Neurotech Helmet Works (Working of kernel flow helmet)
In this Blog session we are discussing about how kernel latest Neuroscience Helmet works also known as “Kernel Flow”.
You might wonder how this magic futuristic device is even supposed to work without having to implant it into your brain.
Like how the other brain computer interfaces are supposed to be integrated the way kernel flow works is somewhat similar to the way Mary Lou Jepsen OpenWater Headset works.
The kernel flow headset is a time-domain near-infrared spectroscopy TD NIRS system(Time-Domain NIRS System) as the name suggests NIRS uses infrared light to measure brain activity.
The advantage of using light is that it’s safe and works from outside the body no surgery required.
Specifically, a laser pressed against the head shines light into the body the light travels through the various layers skin bone brain, etc bouncing around like so many pinballs.
some portion of the light is absorbed by the body while some of it makes it back out after lots of bouncing around and can be measured.
So long story short it measures your brain activity by shining red lasers through your head and seeing where in the brain there’s blood flow and thus activated neurons at the moment.
It’s unclear how the writing process of activating neurons by the headset is going to work but if it’s anything like open water they’ll likely use ultrasonic sounds to accomplish that. kernel flow which uses near-infrared light to measure blood flow in the brain
Kernel flow isn’t even the only device kernel is working on there’s also kernel flux which due to its size and cost is more of a medical device it has similar functionality in use cases as the kernel flow device.
All these newly released or upcoming devices is both amazing and scary at the same time but bryan johnson’s clean and simple way of bringing brain computer interfaces into the mainstream might make it less scary.
Johnson says we’re entertained by the black mirror but outside of that we’re not discussing human intelligence as a populace he’s trying to get the best minds of our generation in government in tech and media to talk about this problem.
How Kernel Flow Works with Brain (Human brain)
what’s the best way to measure brain activity from outside the skull no surgery required you could measure the activity of the neurons themselves but it’s hard to get.
We can take advantage of the fact that the brain has many blood vessels that supply oxygen to the neurons and then when neurons use oxygen the color of the blood shifts away from reddish and toward blue carnal flow shines light at the blood.
In the brain, the light bounces around in all directions and by chance, some light will bounce back through the skull skin and back out of the head.
we then use the amount of light we can detect and, how it changes over time to calculate how active a nearby brain region is using color to tell something about the content of what you’re measuring is called spectroscopy.
how do we know which scattered light waves originated from which part of the brain kernel flow is a time domain or TD system.
TD systems use very short pulses of light with precise timing in order to measure and compare the time each photon takes to arrive at a detector placed across the head.
We then use Monte Carlo models the kind that power particle simulators and the best modern AIS to analyze the shape and spread of the arrival times at the detectors all of which gives us clues to the path the light has taken.
Here we show the path of the photons in black as they travel from the red source location to the blue detector as time goes on the photons travel deeper into the head the increased timing information we get from carnal flow relative to other optical systems allows us to better isolate the signal coming from the brain as compared to the signal from the scalp and the skull. (the figure below demonstrates the flow of particles into brain)
For example here we are showing where brain activity for a motor task is reconstructed using traditiowe can make a dynamic map of brain activity over parts of the brain closest to the skull which is where much of language vision movement and higher order cognition is processed or planned combined with mathematical models of anatomy and how light propagatesnal f nearest methods if we compare this to the activation pattern when we use TD fNIRS information we see more localized motor activity as we expect from this task by measuring from detectors placed around the head.
we can make a dynamic map of brain activity over parts of the brain closest to the skull which is where much of language vision movement and higher order cognition is processed or planned combined with mathematical models of anatomy and how light propagates.
we can reconstruct where in the brain changes in blood oxygenation and related brain activity are coming from and in part because photons on average travel through the skull and back out in an arc or banana path.
The more detectors we have the better the spatial resolution and the better the map here we are showing.
Some simulated brain activity in green as we add more detectors we can see that our estimation of where the brain activity is coming from gets closer to the correct location these advancements allow for precise localization of brain activity.
So there are 52 individual modules where each module has a single layer, in the center and six detectors around the outside so what that means is on a full head we have 52 lasers and 312 detectors, and as you can see we kind of have the modules snap into the helmet very precisely.
The other thing about the device is a kind of structured it, so that there are groups of modules, so you can kind of see from the side here that we have a cluster of seven that would cover part of the auditory cortex where your brain processes, sounds and then we have some grouped together in the front here for the prefrontal cortex and then we have motor and the visual cortex in the back that cover-ups the whole brain.
So the company tried to design the headgear both in a way that sort of covers all the key areas and is flexible enough so that people with different size heads could still use the same device.
Future of Kernel Flow and company
Brain Science is the new rocket science so what do you think about Kernel’s approach to brain-computer interfaces do the benefits of finally being in control of your emotions and feeling of having the ability to record your dreams.
Ethical concerns of having a device and can literally read your mind are you maybe even planning to buy your own kernel flow headset once it is released or are you counting on Elon Musk to once again rule this field with his invasive but powerful Neuralink chip.
Please tell us about it in the comments and let us have some nice discussions about it. we are a group that is deeply passionate geeks.
Till then Have a Good Day -Kunal Salekar(Techohealth.com)