Posted by: thescoundrel | September 15, 2008

Weapons of War – We Are Borg


In an article by Mark Thompson the author states that the Army has just awarded a five-year four million dollar contract to a group of scientists to begin development of a new battle helmet that would allow soldiers in the field to communicate without speaking. The helmet would be designed with numerous built-in electronic sensors that would read the brain waves of the soldier and communicate orders among the troops without them needing to make noise. The idea is in early stages and is similar to technology soon to be released in a video game headset. The video game headset technology is said to allow a computer to perceive more than 30 different expressions, emotions and actions. What the Army is seeking will require much more sophistication than the Emotiv headset and according to the Thompson article is probably about ten years away from being a reality. Modern War technology is becoming yesterday’s science fiction.

I also have to wonder if the whole idea would not be simpler if there was a method that allowed the sensors to be hardwired directly on the brain that then would allow the helmet to plug into the individual much like plugging in a new motherboard for a computer upgrade. Of course if upgrade is really a goal of science and the military why try and closely mimic man’s other body parts when you could design improved replacement parts interchangeable and more specialized by changing the design? Maybe even make a more energy efficient body for better protection and to carry around the conscious. Add the “thought helmet” to other advancing fields of technology such as bionics and exoskeletons you have to ask yourself; how far away are we from a future where it gets difficult to tell man from machine? As technology starts to reach that point where we can really build sophisticated replacement parts better than our original god-given equipment, will we be asking a question similar as a student in a Wired article – why not replace our body parts with mechanical limbs? In Star Trek vernacular you might ask are we becoming Borg?

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Responses

  1. Why don’t the scientists work on a helmet for the enemy. They could design one so when they put it on, they’d think they already lost and surrender.

  2. I would think they would have to find a way to make the helmets only work with the person it was designed for. Otherwise if a helmet fell into the wrong hands it would be like giving them a radio that allows them to listen in on the troop movements.


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