It seems like every other day we read about some far-out, new technology that makes us scratch our heads and say, "What the heck?" In this series, we'll take a look at all types of crazy new gadgets, apps and other technologies -- and the entrepreneurs dreaming them up.
What if you could use your mind to telepathically control the actions of someone else? It sounds crazy, but researchers at Harvard are at least one step closer to making the unbelievable a reality.
In a recent lab test, folks at the Cambridge, Mass.-based university were able to use a human mind to control the physical movement of a live rat. Here's how the system works: A human wears a standard EEG-based "brain-to-computer interface" (BCI) while the rat wears the reverse "computer-to-brain interface" (CBI,) according to a report from ExtremeTech.com. The rat's interface also includes non-invasive technology that can excite a specific region of neurons the wearer's brain using an ultrasound signal.
From there it gets slightly more complicated. The human's interface is able to detect when he is looking at a specific pattern on a computer screen. Then it sends a command to the rat's interface causing an ultrasound signal to be sent to the part of the rat's brain that controls movement of its tail.
"The researchers report that the human BCI has an accuracy of 94 percent, and that it generally takes around 1.5 seconds for the entire process -- from the human deciding to look at the screen, through to the movement of the rat's tail," ExtremeTech.com reports.
(By the way, is it just me or does that rat in this video look like it's the size of a small dog??)
So, this technology is still in its infancy. Ideally, a person would simply have to think about an action in order to cause it to happen in the rat. And to be able to cause more complex actions or feelings.
But what could the market be for tech like this? Transmitting thoughts to others without speaking? Or something more nefarious like mind control? The government is already spying on you online. Do we need our minds controlled, too? (Don't answer that.)
What crazy apps and gadgets have you come across lately? Let us know by emailing us at FarOutTech@entrepreneur.com or by telling us in the comments below.