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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Real Life Matrix- Chance For Bilnd & Deaf To See & Hear!!

New Scientist magazine writes about patents given to sony which may enable smell, taste & feel things while seeing movies or playing computer games.That's the prospect raised by a patent on a device for transmitting sensory data directly into the human brain. The non invasive technique suggested in the patent describes a device that fires pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify firing patterns in targeted parts of the brain, creating "sensory experiences" ranging from moving images to tastes and sounds. This could give blind or deaf people the chance to see or hear, the patent claims.While brain implants are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the only non-invasive ways of manipulating the brain remain crude. A technique known as transcranial magnetic stimulation can activate nerves by using rapidly changing magnetic fields to induce currents in brain tissue. Magnetic fields cannot be finely focused on small groups of brain cells, whereas ultrasound could be. Sony’s method could have all sorts of uses in research and medicine, even if it is not capable of evoking sensory experiences detailed enough for the entertainment purposes envisaged in the patent.
Sony first submitted a patent application for the ultrasound method in 2000, which was granted in March 2003. Since then Sony has filed a series of continuations, most recently in December 2004 (US 2004/267118). Sony spokesperson says, the work is speculative. "There were not any experiments done," she says. "This particular patent was a prophetic invention. It was based on an inspiration that this may someday be the direction that technology will take us." Let some thousand such ideas and techniques bloom - let technology make things more easy, attractive for mankind and help it overcome its physical limitations.

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