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Brain-neural computer interfaces on track to home – Development of a practical generation of BNCI for independent home use (BackHome)
Start date: Jan 1, 2012, End date: Jun 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Research efforts have improved Brain-Neural Computer Interface (BNCI) technology in many ways and numerous applications have been prototyped. Until recently, these BNCI systems have been researched almost exclusively in laboratories. Home usage has been demonstrated, though only with on-going expert supervision. A significant advance on BNCI research and its implementation as a feasible assistive technology is therefore the migration of BNCIs into people's homes to provide new options for communication and control that increase independence and reduce social exclusion. The goal of BackHome is to move BNCIs from laboratory devices for healthy users toward practical devices used at home by people in need. This implies a system which is easy to set up, portable, and straightforward. Thus, BackHome will (1) develop BNCI systems into practical multimodal assistive technologies that will provide useful solutions for communication, web-surfing, and environmental control, and (2) provide this technology for home usage with minimal support. These goals will be attained through three key developments: practical electrodes; telemonitoring with home software support; and easy-to-use applications tailored to people's needs. BackHome will build on on-going projects in the FP7 BNCI cluster that laid the foundations for this project and provide us with a network of connections and resources that will be valuable in the project. The consortium combines extensive experience with software development, definition of standards, neuroscience and psychology research methods, user-centred approaches and training users in their homes. We will leverage this experience to get BackHome started quickly, maintain solid interactions with end users, and interact effectively with other key research groups. We will evaluate, disseminate and plan future exploitation of the BackHome scientific and technical results in close interaction with end-users. BackHome will thus have a strong impact on European dominance in the field, in the short and longer term, and could make a real difference not only for the end-users targeted but also for caregivers, support personnel, and medical professionals.

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