DARPA is Working on a "Cortical Modem" That Plugs Into Your DNA

By Gerald Lynch on at

DARPA, the US military's defence research arm, has got its blue-sky brainstorming cap on again, courting investment for a "cortical modem" that would plug into your very DNA.

The purpose of this future-gazing device? To give its user a view of the world just like they'd get from an AR headset -- except sent directly from your brain, rather than from a pair of specs, resulting in something not dissimilar to the Terminator's view of the world.

Very much a concept idea at the moment (don't expect to see this popping up at MWC 2050, let alone 2015), the DARPA team envisions the device being no bigger than a pair of coins, potentially costing as little as £7, and giving a HUD akin to small LED display you might find on a clock.

DARPA's frankly-insane idea would take advantage of research into optogenetics, the study of controlling cells within tissues by shining light on them. DARPA's proposed device would necessitate tinkering with DNA in a person's neurons. As cool as it sounds, if relatively simple Google Glass can't pull off something similar yet, don't hold your breath seeing this anytime soon.

H+ Magazine has a great report on DARPA's futuristic showcase. It's well worth a read.[CNET, H+]