Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Real Telekinisis

Paraplegics will lead us all into a brave new cybernetic future, where the boundaries between flesh, titanium and random access memory have been forever erased. But that's not all, folks. The future will be even stranger than most of us imagined. It will resemble more the places depicted by fantasy writers than science fiction authors.

On Thursday, January 10, 2008, a monkey made a robot on the other side of the world move with just his thoughts. Imagine the possibilities in just a few decades. With improved wet gates (the interface between flesh and machine), and low energy radio chips like those used by the Z-Wave protocol (already popping up in everything from nightlights to toaster ovens), our minds will be able to open drawers, unlock cars, even remotely control aircraft just at the...snap of a thought.

Those with compromised motor functions will be the first to brave the journey into this weird future since the risk of peripheral brain surgery makes most of us a little squeamish. But eventually the benefits will outweigh the risks. Those who were previously "disabled" will be the "enabled". Not only will they run faster than the rest of us but their mindprint, the area they can instantaneously control at the flick of a thought, will be far larger and, in theory, limited only by the speed of light. And with all likelihood, implanting wet gates will become less and less invasive with every passing decade. Wet gates will probably be as common as cell phones are today.

Welcome to the world of...real and universal telekinesis.

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