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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Cortical 'Modem' Inplants To Give You Terminator Vision - Scientist Proposes

For your sight to be like terminator's sight, you just have to pay a token. Technological advancement is nudging further beyond all imaginable limits. Read the latest as written by Rich Tremholm for CNET.

Forget HoloLens, forget smart glasses and forget augmented reality -- scientists have proposed a "cortical modem" that plugs into your DNA and your visual cortex to cure sight loss and show a heads-up display in front of your very eyes.

The cortical modem concept is the brainchild of DARPA, the US Defense Research Projects Agency. Originally founded in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik, DARPA is the US military's research and development agency. It's perhaps best known outside of military circles for the development of ARPANET, an early packet switching network that formed a precursor to the Internet.

The cortical modem concept was presented by DARPA's Phillip Alvelda at a recent pow-wow in Silicon Valley, at which innovators, investors and other big brains were introduced to the agency's Biological Technologies Office (BTO), a blue-sky-thinking initiative announced last year.

During the event, transhumanist publication H+ reports that DARPA was described onstage as a "friendly, but somewhat crazy, rich uncle".That crazy, rich -- or crazy rich -- uncle foresees the device providing a heads-up display or augmented reality projection appearing in your natural vision with no helmet or smart glasses or anything at all in front of your eyes. Like the Terminator. Or Robocop. Or something less shoot-y.

The cortical modem could do just that, restoring sight to someone with sight loss. Optogenetics is still a relatively young field of study, however, and has yet to be tested in humans -- it would require fiddling around with the DNA in a subject's neurons, which, let's face it, isn't the sort of project you dive into on a Friday afternoon.

The DARPA event also covered such mind-boggling science-fiction-becomes-science-fact topics as insect cyborgs, exoskeletons and life-sized robot elephants