Neurotechnology Patent Applications Are Soaring

Microsoft, IBM, and other IT titans are patenting brainwave-reading technologies they aim to employ in creating a technological ecosystem that works with our brains rather than against them, reports The Huffington Post. Their aim is to improve productivity. How great it would be, for example, to be able to block distracting notifications when we need to really focus

Our consumption behaviors are also being affected by neurotechnology. Consumer-research behemoth Nielsen has an entire neuroscience division dedicated to measuring consumers at their most fundamental level — their brain activity. Nielsen patents show neurotechnology applications incorporating multidisciplinary approaches with other cutting-edge technologies such as virtual reality systems, and even how these same research approaches could be used to improve home-based healthcare.

But neurotechnology isn’t just geared towards monitoring brain activity. Significant venture funding and patent activity is being directed at products that can enhance brain functioning through neurocognitive training and through cutting-edge (and not fully tested) magnetic and electrical stimulation devices. While ten of the twenty top neurotech IP holders are publicly traded companies, start-up Thync raised $13M dollars from Khosla Ventures and other investors in 2014 to commercialize transcranial stimulation as the “new coffee” for a mainstream audience.

Here's what's coming, says Zach Lynch, executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Foundation

[Neurotechnology] is a disruptive force that will impact major parts of every industry, creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs, companies, and investors on the cutting edge to take leadership roles in upgrading entertainment, health, education, wellness and more.