Brain-to-brain interfaces have long since been considered a trope of science fiction movies and stories. However, the real world has its first brain-to-brain interface system, and they may find themselves in the retail market sooner than expected. Computer-aided telepathy utilizes small modem-like devices plugged into human beings’ brains to enable the computer to read, interpret, and connect their thoughts directly to a system.
Early Days for Development
There aren’t any commercially viable options for brain-to-brain communication just yet. However, it may be a revolution in input, since a user would no longer need to tap, swipe, or use physical interfaces to communicate with a PC. Ideally, the system should be able to interface with the input systems for humans, allowing for the projection of a screen without there needing to be a physical manifestation of it in the real world. The real-life telepathy frontiers that scholars and researchers are exploring could change the way we interact with technology.
Multiple Companies Exploring the Tech
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Washington unveiled a new technology they call “BrainNet,” which deals specifically with the scenario of connecting two people to transfer thoughts. The non-invasive methodology the university scholars used was interesting since it didn’t require any drilling into a person’s skull to create a connection. An Australia/California based company attempted something similar in developing a brain sensor implant that was similarly non-invasive. The company, named Synchron, developed a device that would make its way through a patient’s bloodstream to the brain, then reside there to interpret their brain commands. It was intended for use with patients who have paralysis.
Ethical Questions Arise
Individual data and personal privacy laws are becoming more visible in the public eye. Technology, like these brain-to-brain models, offers unique insight into a human being’s brain. While the technology is, as yet, unable to read areas of the brain that it isn’t developed around, the temptation is always there to create a method to understand the motivation for human beings’ behaviors, and maybe even coerce them into action that is unlike their regular personality. The ethical considerations are more far-reaching than simply losing data to a security breach.