Remember the movie Cyborg? Well things are looking like they may get a little creepy and real to the tune of that movie. According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Military, they’re working on a brain implant that would help give our soldiers the cyborg advantage.
Creepy indeed. Realistic? Not really.
This machine to brain communication device is currently being worked on but is far away from being usable or feasible. DARPA says that it will: “open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
It is being developed under the Neural Engineering System Design (NESD). It aims to improve the interaction of neurons from the thousands they currently are with the present technology to millions simultaneously (between the brain and its connective devices and components). The goal: allow for the digital transfer of brain signals from human to machine.
“Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem,” the NESD program manager Phillip Alvelda explained. “Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”
The ideal chip size will be one centimeter, according to DARPA. It will be implanted into the brain and act as a communication interface. It takes the electrochemical signals that are created by the brain’s neurons and converts them into the binary code we use in modern day digital devices.
The technology, if ever fully mastered, could be used to improve a soldier’s hearing, sight and awareness by linking it to the systems they are wearing. The government is already working on mechanized suits (look up TALOS when you get a chance) that this technology could be used for.
Still, a ton of work is required before this could ever become a reality, including breakthrough advances in neural research and science. Still, the mere thought of it is rather eerie.
In the future, there could be human super soldiers that have brain implants that give them the advantage while operating mechanized suits. It kind of sounds like the video game Halo crossed between Iron Man.
Can you imagine the signup form that soldiers would have to review if this technology ever became a reality? Check box A agreeing to having an implant surgically placed on your brain. No thanks.