Brain-Computer Interfaces Are Already Here

For the first 54 years of his life, Dennis DeGray was an active guy. In 2007 he was living in Pacific Grove, Calif., not far from the ocean and working at a beachside restaurant. He surfed most mornings. Then, while taking out the trash one rainy night, he slipped, fell, and hit his chin on the pavement, snapping his neck between the second and third vertebrae.

DeGray was instantly rendered, as he puts it, “completely nonfunctional from the collarbone south.” He’s since depended on caregivers to feed, clothe, and clean him and meet most any other need. He had every expectation this would be the case for the rest of his life.

“My first six months were really something,” DeGray, now 64, says ruefully from his single room in a Menlo Park nursing facility, decorated with fairy lights, a National Lampoon poster, and a 6-foot-tall alien.

Read more: Brain-Computer Interfaces Are Already Here

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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Brain-Computer Interfaces Are Already Here

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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