In previous posts, we’ve explored how DARPA recently awarded major grants to Batelle among others, all in the interest of developing advanced brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) for military applications. And, not all that far removed from our exploration of that very topic, we also saw how BCIs are capable of permitting users to create music directly through their minds.
It’s clear, then, that we have some interest in using BCIs for both business and pleasure, but what some might find surprising is that the intersection between acoustics and brain waves—regardless of the purpose they’re being used for—is greater than one might think.
In fact, as this article from Sociable explains, Nikolai Tesla long suspected the “secrets of the universe” had everything to do with “energy, frequency, and vibration.” If that sounds like it pertains to, well, sound, it does. Tesla’s belief that “our entire biological system—the brain and the earth itself—work on the same frequencies” seems consistent with DARPA’s (and ergo, Batelle’s) approach to BCIs will rely on acoustics to some extent.
As the Sociable article suggests, DARPA is after, and I’m quoting here:
A device that uses an acousto-optical approach to record from the brain and interfering electrical fields to write to specific neurons using ultrasound waves to guide light into and out of the brain to detect neural activity.
An acousto-magnetic device for writing to the brain that pairs ultrasound waves with magnetic fields to generate localized electric currents for neuromodulation.
A magneto-genetic approach to make neurons sensitive to magnetic fields.
An integrated device that uses focused ultrasound for writing to neurons.
As the above demonstrates, three out of four of these priorities tie directly back into sound, whether or not those sounds are perceivable by the human ear alone. The article goes much more in-depth on this topic, among others, and is definitely worth a read for those interested.
The takeaway here is that this is, again, just another form that we might see BCIs take as they become more and more entrenched in our society. Whether run on acoustics in this case or on electrical activity as is the case in the EMPATHY universe, the possibilities are vast.
To explore these possibilities both in fact and in fiction, I encourage you to continue to read this blog and to read the EMPATHY series itself, beginning with Imminent Dawn before progressing into Mourning Dove and the subsequent books in the series.
Oh, and this June, signed print copies are 15% off with keyword SUMMER19! And you can get 40% off ebooks with keyword PRIDE if you order directly from my publisher.