Your brain on the internet


The communicator badge, the enhanced vision visor that Geordie LaForge wears, and the attached and embedded technology of the Borg are all examples of wearable computing, in a sense, but they also represent a continuum of connection. The badge is strictly wearable. The visor comes on and off, but it has a neural connection as well. And the Borg implants redefine the humanity of the beings they connect to, making them half man, half machine, but also connecting them together in a networked hive. That continuum of connection moves from external devices to a brain-computer interface.  These techno-neuro connections exist today, in cochlear implants for example. The real brain-computer connection still seems like the stuff of science fiction, like William Gibson’s biosofts. That sort of invasive connection poses a medical ethics problem. But what about a non-invasive interface? When I first heard about InteraXon’s technology a few years ago, I thought it was so far out that I had to double check to make sure it wasn’t a hoax. Their Muse headband, like Emotiv’s EPOC, pick up brain waves through EEG sensors. DARPA is sponsoring research into using this technology for telepathy. If we take Moore’s Law into consideration, how far away is a Borg and biosoft future?

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