Current and Future Applications
There are many applications for these types of technologies. Here are some examples of research that is currently underway!
Current Weapons / Tools
- A USA Special Operations Command unit made a mind-reading kit for elite troops – the experimental tool is among several that aim to combine sensors and AI to give U.S. operators a new edge.
- New drones that can be controlled by thought (another article here).
- US DARPA creates a surveillance system that is uses EEG for enhanced image filtering, called the Cognitive Threat Warning System).
- Another EEG enhanced imaging system, found here. This one, when coupled with commercial radar improved threat detection accuracy from 64% to 100%.
- An acoustic weapon that generates ‘sonic bullets’ that incapacitate an individual.
Future Weapons / Tools
- The army wants AI to read soldiers’ minds – a new study from the Army Research Lab may help AI-infused weapons and tools better understand their human operators.
- Air Force wants neuroweapons to overwhelm enemy minds – military bureaucrats are asking scientists to help them “degrade enemy performance” by attacking the brain’s “chemical pathways.”
- The US government wants to create mind-controlled weapons – scientists are looking for ways of reading soldiers’ minds using tools like genetic engineering of the human brain, nanotechnology, and infrared beams; creating thought-controlled weapons, like swarms of drones that someone sends to the skies with a single thought or the ability to beam images from one brain to another! (MIT article here)
- US Darpa prior announced spending US$50 million on a project whose aim is to let people upload and download knowledge directly into and from their brains (Matrix style), later announcing it is now funding a project to implant tiny computers the size of a coin into head gear and people’s brains to allow them to communicate telepathically – something that, ironically, was achieved years ago using non-invasive methods. Article here.
- US Darpa wants to be able to remotely control troop minds – they want to augment troops’ brains, from the areas that regulate alertness and cognition, to pain treatment, and psychiatric well-being, using a gadget installed inside the troops’ helmets that uses ultrasound. The army posted an article here.
- An article regarding how the US Army wants soldiers to have telepathy – they want soldiers of the future to be able to read minds rather than use radios, PDA’s, and hand signals. Another article here. Another article here.
- The US Army is investigating how to interface the brain with technologies, so that they can be directly controlled by the brain and have bi-directional communications. Another article here. Another ‘like’ article here, provided by Time magazine. Another here.
- Using EEG for interrogations! Or a lie / enemy detector.
- Russia is investigating a gun that attacks an enemy soldier’s nervous system.
- The technology used in the army’s new “Long Range Acoustic Device” could also be used to sell products.
- A technology that can ‘beam’ sounds into people’s heads, called the “Sonic Projector“.
- Another technology that uses ultrasound to ‘beam’ sounds into people’s heads – this one is currently used with billboards to provide a street-side multimedia experience!
- A device that uses camera technology to analyze the energy generated by the human body in the detection of such things as; lies, emotions, and intent.
- A device that offers one-step, three-factor pass-through authentication using in ear EEG.
- A device that can record your dreams and then play them back for you.
- A technology that detects the signals generated by a person’s vocal cords and translates it into speech.
- A company called, “This Place” combined Google smart glasses with an electroencephalography (EEG) headset, making it possible to take a picture without moving a muscle.
- A product that allows the recording of subliminal messages.
Educational / Human Performance
- The US Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory USD $2.5M to develop an implantable neural device that records and stimulates neurons to help restore memory.
- Accelerated Learning! Scientists have developed a way of amplifying learning in a way that almost mimics the methods used in “The Matrix”!
- A device dubbed the ‘thinking cap’ can selectively manipulate a persons ability to learn through the application of a mild electrical current to the brain – with the effect enhancing or depressing learning depending on the direction of the current applied.
- A headband worn by students that provide teachers with neurofeedback on attention levels via color-coded lights.
- Part of the US Department of Homeland Security’s “Readiness Optimization Program”, a device that helps workers remain at the top of their game when working and get quality rest when off shift.
- Thync launched its mood-altering headset which enables a person to find a state of calm or boost your energy with controls on your smartphone (article here).
- A device, with blueprints and construction information found online, which enables a person to alter their performance by applying electrical currents to the scalp – homemade tDCS!
- The techniques applied in warfare activities on snipers are being transformed into company boardrooms in an attempt to make better leaders / performers.
- A fascinating venture called, “Glass Brain“, that generates a visual representation of the signals generated by the brain.
- A commercial product that uses tDCS to help you sleep. Here is a ‘roadmap‘ that outlines electrode placements and related supporting studies. Another that identifies more placements and associated benefits.
- A training technique termed, “Neruofeedback“, is promising new method of restoring brain function in mental disorders.
Current Devices / Solutions
- The ability to artificially restore hearing, using the Microwave Auditory Effect.
- A implantable device called, “Auditory Brainstem Implant” that restores hearing in the deaf.
- The neural control of prosthetics! Another team’s solution here. Another article here. Another here. An article regarding people who have had their hands replaced with bionics.
- The ability to restore the sense of touch to those using prosthetics.
- The relief of otherwise intractable neuropsychiatric illnesses, such as depression. Another article here.
- The ability to restore memory formation and recall in the injured brain.
- Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US have developed a portable ultralow-field MRI system. Its low power requirements allow the unit to be deployed in medical centers in developing countries as well as in military field hospitals. (Video)
- A technology that can treat early MS-like symptoms using near-infrared (NIR) light.
- We are able to predict a persons sex from brain rhythms using ‘deep learning’.
- A smartphone application that keeps watch over schizophrenic patients by monitoring behavioral patterns that can predict a relapse.
- A neurotech start-up called, “Rythm“, raised $11M to design a technology that helps to improve sleep quality.
- One day, a new Magnetic Brain Stimulation technique may trump the use of drugs for individuals suffering from severe depression
- Researchers built a brain-machine interface used to control a prosthetic hand using thoughts, rather than muscular activity
Future Devices / Solutions
- A team of researchers are investigating how EEG could lead to earlier diagnosis of autism.
- A US Darpa initiative called N3 will use optics, acoustics, and electromagnetics to record neural activity, and/or send signals back to the brain at high speed and resolution. The technologies must be either completely noninvasive interfaces that are entirely external to the body or minutely invasive interface systems that include nano-transducers that can be temporarily and non-surgically delivered to the brain to improve signal resolution. The teams will:
- The Battelle team aims to develop a minutely invasive interface system that pairs an external transceiver with electromagnetic nano-transducers that are non-surgically delivered to neurons of interest. The nano-transducers would convert electrical signals from the neurons into magnetic signals that can be recorded and processed by the external transceiver, and vice versa, to enable bidirectional communication.
- The Carnegie Mellon University team aims to develop a completely noninvasive device that uses an acousto-optical approach to record from the brain and interfering electrical fields to write to specific neurons. The team will use ultrasound waves to guide light into and out of the brain to detect neural activity. The team’s write approach exploits the non-linear response of neurons to electric fields to enable localized stimulation of specific cell types.
- The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory team aims to develop a completely noninvasive, coherent optical system for recording from the brain.
- The PARC team aims to develop a completely noninvasive acousto-magnetic device for writing to the brain. Their approach pairs ultrasound waves with magnetic fields to generate localized electric currents for neuromodulation. The hybrid approach offers the potential for localized neuromodulation deeper in the brain.
- The Rice University team aims to develop a minutely invasive, bidirectional system for recording from and writing to the brain. For the recording function, the interface will use diffuse optical tomography to infer neural activity by measuring light scattering in neural tissue. To enable the write function, the team will use a magneto-genetic approach to make neurons sensitive to magnetic fields.
- The Teledyne team aims to develop a completely noninvasive, integrated device that uses micro optically pumped magnetometers to detect small, localized magnetic fields that correlate with neural activity. The team will use focused ultrasound for writing to neurons.
- US Darpa has selected seven teams of researchers to begin work on the Agency’s Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program, which has as its goal the development of a closed-loop system that treats diseases by modulating the activity of peripheral nerves (article here).
- Circuit Therapeutics plans to further develop its experimental optogenetic methods for treating neuropathic pain.
- A Columbia University team will pursue fundamental science to support the use of non-invasive, targeted ultrasound for neuromodulation.
- A team at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health will seek to map the nerve pathways that underlie intestinal inflammation. They will also explore the use of neurostimulation technologies based on the cochlear implant (used for hearing loss) but adapted to modulate activity of the vagus nerve in response to biofeedback signals.
- Johns Hopkins University aims to explore the root mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease and the impact of sacral nerve stimulation on its progression.
- A Massachusetts Institute of Technology team will aim to advance its established work in magnetic nano-particles for localized, precision in vivo neuromodulation through thermal activation of neurons.
- A Purdue University team will study inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and its responsiveness to vagal nerve stimulation through the neck.
- A team at the University of Texas will examine the use of vagal nerve stimulation to induce neural plasticity for the treatment of post-traumatic stress.