Feeds

Sony patents brain controller

Stimulating

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Sony has been awarded a patent for a technology that could conjure up smells, tastes and other sensations in the brains of movie-goers. Specifically, the patent (US Patent 6,729,337) covers "a method for generating sensory data onto the human neural cortex".

The more wary of you may wonder whether we have been suckered by a late April Fool's gag. We wondered about that too, but you can check out the patent in all its bizarre glory right here. So unless the US patent office has suddenly developed a much better sense of humour, we'll take this one as legit.

It describes using ultrasonic transducers (we kid you not) to stimulate neural activity in particular areas of the brain, causing the person to experience smells and tastes as part of the cinematic experience.

Film buffs could transport themselves to the garbage compactor in Star Wars (the original), join Frank N. Furter for a Meatloaf dinner in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or smell the glove in Spinal Tap. Call us cynics if you like, but we suspect the technology may have a bit more of a market in the adult video industry.

The technology is outlined in the patent thus: "Changes in the neural firing timing induce various sensory experiences, depending on the location...the system induces recognizable sensory experiences by applying ultrasonic energy pulsed at low frequency in one or more selected patterns on one or more selected locations of the cortex."

Elizabeth Boukis, a spokeswoman for Sony Electronics, described the invention as "prophetic", New Scientist reports. "It was based on an inspiration that this may someday be the direction that technology will take us," she told the magazine.

Suitably inspired, we're off down the patent office to lay claim to the warp engine, tricorder, and transporter. We'd get more, but we expect George Lucas has already called dibs on the light-sabre and the death star, and Woody Allen might have snapped up the Orgasmatron by the time we get there. ®

Related stories

Quadriplegic controls PC by mind power alone
Reg telepathed by Captain Cyborg critics
iVoice files patent on bouncing grannies

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.