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October 13, 2003

The Next Internet

This could be the next technology breakthrough with the equivalent social impact of the Internet:

Monkeys can control a robot arm as naturally as their own limbs using only brain signals, a pioneering experiment has shown. The macaque monkeys could reach and grasp with the same precision as their own hand.
The most immediate impact will be to give the disabled control of artifical limbs with much of the seamlessness they would have from natural body parts.

But the possibilities beyond that are unimaginable. De facto, people could be given the equivalent of additional arms to coordinate multiple tasks that they could never have done before.

Or combine this mental manipulation of objects with a computer interface and suddenly "virtual" action could be as seemless as day-to-day manipulation. Imagine if that computer interface is wired directly to the brain and both perception and action could completely bypass the physical body-- shades of The Matrix.

Posted by Nathan at October 13, 2003 02:34 PM