Better Brain Interfaces Are Like Internet Shifting From Dial-Up to Broadband

Kernal is developing invasive and non-invasive brain-machine interface and neuroscience technology. Kernel is a private neurotechnology company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The company was founded in 2016 by Bryan Johnson who backed it with a personal investment of $54 million. Bryan was founder, chairman and CEO of Braintree, a company that specialized in mobile and web payment systems for eCommerce companies. Braintree acquired Venmo in 2012 for $26.2 million. The combined company was acquired by eBay in 2013 for $800 million. In July 2020, Kernel had raised $53 million from outside investors.

Bryan Johnson believes brain interfaces technology is like the early stages of the internet changing from dial-up to broadband. If there is enabling hardware success then the larger opportunity is an industry built on top.

In May 2020, Kernel unveiled two brain-activity monitoring devices.

One device, Flux, measures electromagnetic activity. Another, Flow, pulses the brain with light to measure changes in blood metabolism. Kernel’s hardware prevents environmental interference; custom microchips process signals, and algorithms analyze brain activity. The company shrunk large, room-sized machines down to the size of a wearable bicycle helmet, which allows people to be more mobile as they are monitored. The devices are expected to become available for purchase in late 2021. Potential applications of the technology include assisting paralyzed individuals with communication and tracking mental functions, such as creativity or anxiety.

At the same time, Kernel introduced “Sound ID,” software that can tell what speech or song a person is listening to just from brain data. Bloomberg called the software “a sort of Shazam for the mind”, referring to the popular music-recognition app, Shazam. In a demonstration, music producer and DJ Steve Aoki tried one of Kernel’s helmets with Sound ID technology. As Aoki listened to his own compositions, Kernel software analyzed Aoki’s brain activity and identified the song being played

SOURCES- Kernel, Lex Friedman, Wikipedia
Written by Brian Wang,