Whether you're the paranoid type, that thinks brain implants ultimately mean government mind control, or an excited futurist, the reality is coming. Darpa has committed $60 million to creating an interface for the human brain and machines that will be implanted in the skull.
Imagine controlling your gadgets, wirelessly, with thoughts alone. Don't think so much about advertisers getting inside your skull though.
The Neural Engineering System Design project, or NESD, wants to create a chip smaller than a cubic centimetre. This device will need to offer "unprecedented signal resolution and data-transfer bandwidth between the human brain and the digital world".
Over the next four years the $60 million will be spent on creating an indwelling wideband interface for data transmission. While current interfaces, for things like limb control, offer about one hundred channels at a time the NESD project should utilise a connection with up to a million neurones at a time.
Darpa says: "The interface would serve as a translator, converting between the electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology."
This is early days but a very exciting path we're beginning down towards the Convergence when man and machine are one.