Neural Dust Brain Sensors Could Spy On Your Thoughts (Without You Even Knowing)

17/07/2013 10:20 | Updated 17 July 2013

A proposed technology could take mind monitoring to a whole new level by releasing thousands of microscopic sensors inside your brain.

The so-called 'neural dust' would comprise of microbe sized detectors, embedded in the brain, designed to transmit data to external transceivers outside of your skull.

Why would you do this?

neural dust

How the technology would work

Although current technology is quite good at decoding brain signals actually picking them up in the first place is tricky.

Sensors on the skull are obstructed by a hefty layer of bone, while implants are a touch intrusive to the brain.

Neural dust would get around this by transmitting data directly from the surface of the brain without the need for wires to be stuck in your head - although the idea of thousands of tiny sensors in your cortex is not much more comforting.

Obviously our first assumption was the technology could easily be used to monitor everyone's thoughts with sensors you could breathe in without even noticing.

Or even worse, placing thought into your brain.

But researchers envisage slightly more practical and less sinister uses. It could easily be used to enable disabled people to control robotic limbs for example - and presumably it could also be used by a pilot control a drone. Or gamers to control Mario.

Neural dust is currently just a proposal, but a number of current products could be seen as evolutionary steps along the way to it becoming reality.

Neural sensor headbands from Melon and NeuroSky already profess to do the same only on a less advanced scale.

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