Feeds

Sony patents brain controller

Stimulating

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

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

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?