Paradromics raises $20 million for brain implant research to beat Musk's Neuralink

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Founded in 2015, a year ahead of Elon Musk's Neuralink, Paradromics is a self-described developer of brain brain-machine interfacing tech. The company's goal is to create fully-functioning implants to allow humans to interface with technology neurally.

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For example, instead of using your hands to type on a keyboard, you'd be able to type by thinking of what you'd like to say. The technology would not just improve ease-of-use for the everyday person, but could be an invaluable accessibility tool.

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Paradromics gets $20 million for research

Reported by Bloomberg, Paradromics has raised $20 million to further its research into brain implant tech. The money will go towards the development of their next-gen implants, a collection of powerful-but-tiny electrodes that connect to the brain.

The company's chief executive, Matt Angle, told the outlet that brain implants could be the key to treating disabilities such as blindness. By furthering the relationship between brain and tech, we could circumvent biological issues instead of trying to cure them.

“Once you start to realize that the best way to describe the brain is through data, you start to reframe a lot of classically hard-to-treat conditions,” he said. “What the brain really is—it’s a data system.”

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The next generation of brain implants

Paradromics is hard at work to improve its currently developed technology. Titled Connexus, the current tech implants tiny 8-millimetre modules on top of the brain. Microwires that connect the brain to the modules then transfer data from the brain to other modules around the body.

Connexus' effectiveness is reportedly due to 400 electrodes that help to create a “high-bandwidth" system. Paradromics says that this larger system improves the data that can be moved from brain to PC compared to its competitors.

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Bloomberg reports that Connexus has already proven to work on sheep. While described as “early days”, it's proven to work enough to further hone the current tech. Angle expects that Connexus will be able to start human application next year. However, the company will be working closely with regulators to make sure the tech is ready for human trials.

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Competitors?

In terms of competitors, Angle isn't worried. While he praises investors of other teams – he states Musk’s Neuralink company has “normalised neurotech" for investors – there's a belief that the field is small enough for the current companies to thrive.

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He said:

“The markets in which were involved are hundreds of millions of dollars. In the case of BCI, we don't have enough BCI companies to device all of the possible use cases.”

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