US Army plans Modem that Can Transmit Data From Brain to External Devices

US Army plans Modem that Can Transmit Data From Brain to External Devices

In a development that would have profound implications for the armed forces and civilians, the US military has started working on a tiny brain implant, a modem that the security establishment hopes would allow wearers to transmit data from their brains to external devices.

The new “implantable neural interface” can connect to a staggering one million neurons at a time, which would be quite high than the mere thousands that are possible today.

With the exercise, one can imagine controlling a tank with mind or steering a drone with your thoughts or making a phone call by simply willing it. The US military’s fringe-science wing, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has taken the initiative on January 19. The project has been named “Neural Engineering System Design” (NESD).

The research agency said, “The interface would serve as a translator, converting between the electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology”. The goal is to achieve this communications link in a biocompatible device no larger than one cubic centimeter in size, it said.

The agency expects to spend $60 million on NESD over the next around four years. A meeting has been convened in Virginia next month to further explain the modem idea and begin the process of awarding grants to universities, researchers and companies to work on the project.

The Pentagon’s brain modem is far from science fiction and it could still take several years, or even decades, before anything resembling the neural implant is even ready for human trials.

All that the NESD program, according to DARPA, hopes at present is to develop an implantable neural interface that is able to provide unprecedented signal resolution and data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world.


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