Thanks to Juha Lindfors for pointing out, via comments on the previous blogpost, the bit of news about teletransportation. It seems the "vienna" school of thought of quantum physics, is busy demonstrating "spooky action a distance" from Tenerife to La Palma (100km). Scaling up the effect discussed in the previous blog. Slashdot had news threads about it. This morning I decided to catch up on my slashdot feed.
There I saw this bit of Slashdot coverage on brain implants that make your brain the computer. It is a CNN rehash of an old Business 2.0 article of old Nature news. It made the cover of Nature in early 2006, and it was great to read a highly speculative piece about the technology possible futures.
The brain emits electricity and therefore electromagnetism as it "thinks". We have the tech to read some electrical signatures. From MRI, to portable bands (in Nature: a pill sized implant). Some signatures are unique and therefore can be mapped back to the thought. Of course people apply it in UI design (in Nature, computer manipulation).
There are a lot of things you can think and the machines can detect today: every letter of the alphabet is one. Seeing the letter is enough to give a unique signature that let us know you are thinking "X".
It turns out there are about 300 companies in the field trying to bring this "portable brain reader" reality a little closer to our bedrooms. If you can actually figure out the reverse which is to emit electrical beams that recreate the electrical pattern in your brain so that you brain starts "getting" the thoughts. SONY, has recently filed for a patent that covers a device that can enhance gaming by beaming into your brain senses of "smell, image and odor". It seems we are just at the begginning of an exciting if slightly scary technology.
So people can "think" what they type. Apparently state of the art today is 15 words per minute, which isn't bad as a starting base number. Similarly if you could reproduce the electrical input of "sound" from your physical ears, then you could hijack an ear and seriously start "hearing voices". Of course since we already walk around with trumps and cellphones around our ears, the "in-brain" technology will need to be percieved as non-intrusive and secure and damn easy to use for it to have a prayer of being accepted by the mass. Personally, I would settle for style.
Then you can start dialing people by just thinking up their name, saying it out loud or just thinking about their face or whatever attribute you have assigned to this persona.
I was reading an article the other day, that covered the experience of a guy walking through a city, for real, for a couple of month with a sensory belt that indicated north, by vibrating on his stomach as he walked. What was observed was a remapping of his brain to accomodate this new sensory input. It was exciting news from a "brain plasticity" point of view. The brain rewires physically to accomodate new input.
What the guy reported was a transformed sensation of "where he was at every time". He had "bird view". For that matter imagine a real HUD over your field of vision, but not with the help of some heavy military helmet, but through electrical stimulations of your optical nerve. Kinda like the SONY patented idea, but applied to HUD and with a portable device.
All I have to say is bring it on. Juha, I don't know about you but I could get used to this retired life thing.