What if you could plug directly into another person’s brain? It’s been a fairly standard sci-fi trope for a while, but now scientists are making it real. Thankfully, so far, they’re only using it for chat rooms.
The whole process, detailed by Popular Science, is actually pretty complicated. Then again, it involves somebody thinking a message really hard at a computer in India and having three people in France suddenly have that message appear in their mind, so “complicated” is probably good.
Anyway, here’s how it works: The person sending the message translates that message into a binary cipher, and then, using a wireless EEG cap that scans his or her brain activity, enters that cipher by staring at a screen and using the power of the mind to move a black dot up or down. Yes, really.
The receivers sit inside a doohickey that blasts your brain with magnetic fields, known scientifically as a “transcranial magnetic stimulation machine.” This creates phantom flashes of light in your peripheral vision, that correspond to zeros and ones, and thus you can get the message and translate the cipher.
If this seems inefficient at best, well, yeah, it is. But that’s not the point. The point is that people can now have brain-to-brain communication over long distances without invasive surgery. Of course, it does involve hosing your brain with high-power magnets, so, maybe just consider using a cell phone for now.