DARPA wants to create cheap, mass-produced mind-reading device

Credit: Emotiv

We knew it was only a matter of time. The research into the human brain has been advancing so rapidly in recent months that eventually the military woul have to look into the subject. After all, if gamers are being given the opportunity to overclock their brains, then chances are that the Department of Defense will find some use for the same sort of tech.

As it turns out, the military is less interested in frying people's brains and more interested in reading their thoughts. A newly-unearthed DARPA grant competition from this spring shows the military construct's goal: the development of a cheap mind-reading headset which can feed EEG data from its wearer to a smartphone app.

EEG readings are the basis for a number of consumer products which allow users to control objects with their minds. Thinker Thing, for instance, lets its user imagine and then 3D print creatures straight out of their imagination. But that's not exactly a military application of the tech.

Wha DARPA wants to develop — at least in the short term —  is a tool for students who want to know how to read the basic states of a classmate's mind. But EEG readings as a form of lie-detection are already in development and DARPA does admit to wanting to send EEG headsets out with troops as part of a medic kit.

Once created, cheap and mass-produced EEG reading headsets could have an array of uses, especially when their data can be read with any smartphone. There's even the chance that they'll eventually be able to read your thoughts. For now however, that's all still stuck staunchly in the future, as the deciphering of detailed data from an EEG reading is simply beyond the reach of modern understanding of the complex math involved.

DARPA, via Gizmag

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