For more than 20 years researchers all over the world have been working on the development of a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). This is a direct communication channel between the brain and a computer. Such a system enables completely paralyzed patients to communicate or to control devices in their environment just by mental activity. During the last years some patients have been supervised by the researchers themselves to use such BCI systems in daily life. The Austrian company g.tec medical engineering GmbH now brings the first patient-ready BCI on the market. The EEG-based spelling system is called intendiX and enables the user to select keys from a matrix just by paying attention to a target symbol on the screen.
In this way the patient can write messages or commands. intendiX can speak the written text, print it or copy it into an e-mail message. The system is designed to be used without the assistance of a technician and can be installed and operated by the caregiver. For most users intendiX works pretty fine after only a few minutes of training. For paralyzed patients the system has to be tried and evaluated in every specific case. Therefore g.tec provides systems for rent to patients and hospitals. g.tec is a worldwide provider of hard- and software for biosignal and BCI research and is actively cooperating with worldwide leading research-groups for many years.