Skip to comments.Sony Invention Beams Sights, Sounds Into Brain
Posted on 04/06/2005 2:47:51 PM PDT by Callahan
LONDON (Reuters) - If you think video games are engrossing now, just wait: PlayStation maker Sony Corp (SNE.N). has been granted a patent for beaming sensory information directly into the brain.
The technique could one day be used to create videogames in which you can smell, taste, and touch, or to help people who are blind or deaf.
The U.S. patent, granted to Sony researcher Thomas Dawson, describes a technique for aiming ultrasonic pulses at specific areas of the brain to induce "sensory experiences" such as smells, sounds and images.
"The pulsed ultrasonic signal alters the neural timing in the cortex," the patent states. "No invasive surgery is needed to assist a person, such as a blind person, to view live and/or recorded images or hear sounds."
According to New Scientist magazine, the first to report on the patent, Sony's technique could be an improvement over an existing non-surgical method known as transcranial magnetic stimulation. This activates nerves using rapidly changing magnetic fields, but cannot be focused on small groups of brain cells.
Niels Birbaumer, a neuroscientist at the University of Tuebingen in Germany, told New Scientist he had looked at the Sony patent and "found it plausible." Birbaumer himself has developed a device that enables disabled people to communicate by reading their brain waves.
A Sony Electronics spokeswoman told the magazine that no experiments had been conducted, and that the patent "was based on an inspiration that this may someday be the direction that technology will take us."
I can't wait to for them to zap my brain like this.
Wasn't that the invention of the Riddler in Batman Forever?
Yes, but that worked in reverse.
As much as I like my video games, having them beamed into my skull is a little too much for me. I'll stick with the television, thanks.
Be cool if it could beam the last 2 years of my degree into my head...here's you Diploma...please pay at the door on the way out...
Will a tinfoil hat help keep them out of my head?
Wouldn't it be ironic if it turned out that tinfoil hats really would prevent people from beaming information directly into our brains?
Think criminal misuse and making people see and hear what you want.
And of course the Chinese will pioneer the tech to brainwash people.
Is anyone else reminded of the "holodeck" from Star Trek TNG? Not to mention blind Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge's visor?
No longer is Big Brother watching you, he's forcing you to watch him. This technology has untold potential for abuse.
"Wouldn't it be ironic if it turned out that tinfoil hats really would prevent people from beaming information directly into our brains?"
You mean, ...they ...don't?? Oh. I ...I ..., never mind.
"A Sony Electronics spokeswoman told the magazine that no experiments had been conducted, and that the patent "was based on an inspiration that this may someday be the direction that technology will take us."
They can patent a device they have never even tried out? How do the patent examiners evaluate such a thing? Crap, I'm going to send them my plans for a warp drive so I can get the jump on Sony. And my levitating ray gun. And my mind reading scope. And my crystal ball. Just in case they "may someday be the direction that technology will take us." Wow!
Nah. The "holodeck" was Real Stuff, and Geodi's visor attached to surgically implanted connectors (that of course blinked red).
This Nerd Moment brought to you by the letters T and V.
Dual use technology? Imagine military applications.
Much more like that in "Brainstorm." Except it went both ways in Brainstorm.
Exactly. It really pisses me off to see patents granted without a workable prototype or reasonable experiments backing it up. This is actually much better than some I've heard about and is at least mofderately specific about the methods to be used, but sheesh. How iwll it encourage research/creativity if other researchers abandon steps in this direction since he'll have the patent if they do the work?
You know, back in 1904 someone should have patented the idea of heavier than air, engine-powered flight. Then they could have sat back and let the Wirghts do the work only to miss out on the royalties....
Yeah, this is great. You just patent anything you think someone might get to work someday and when they build it, you sue them and take it away from them. Wudd a country!
I bet I can guess what the second (civilian) use of this technology will be. The first will be a prototype video game, perhaps a first-person shooter. The second almost certainly will be virtual-reality sex.
This must be that whole "patent approval for large corporations with lotsa money for political contributions" loophole..
Only applies to the likes of Microsoft, the Motion Picture and Music Industries, Automotive Industry, and other large Contributors... err.. Corporations..
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