This article was published on January 20, 2016

The military is building an implant for controlling machines with your mind

The military is building an implant for controlling machines with your mind
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Today, the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a program that aims to build an implantable neural device that would allow the human brain to communicate directly with a computer.

Roughly the size of a sugar cube, this device would attempt to achieve real-time communication between the brain and computer by using binary code.

The program, dubbed Neural Engineering System Design (NESD), would dramatically improve research capability in neurotechnology as well as providing for new advanced therapies aimed at improving deficits in sight or hearing. NESD would feed digital auditory or visual information to the brain in a resolution that’s much higher than even today’s best 4k televisions.

“Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem,” said Phillip Alvelda, the NESD program manager. “Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”

Future implications on this sort of technology are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Imagine a future that features instant Google search, directions or communications without ever picking up a device.

Bridging the Bio-Electronic Divide [DARPA]

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