Feeds

Northrop scoops DARPA mindreader-helmet threat visor cash

Electrode-hat paranoia specs will detect subversives

Top three mobile application threats

American armaments goliath Northrop Grumman announced another huge technology coup this week. The company has won a Pentagon contract to develop a mindreading hat which will allow US soldiers to identify threats with unparalleled range and speed.

The military requirement was actually called Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CT2WS), but Northrop don't have any truck with crazy acronyms of that type. Instead, they refer to the proposed kit as HORNET (Human-aided Optical Recognition/Notification of Elusive Threats)*.

"HORNET leverages the latest advances in real-time coupling of human brain activity with automated cognitive neural processing to provide superior target detection," says Michael House, Northrop exec in charge of brain-hat blackhat-detector kit.

HORNET is envisaged as a kind of mindprobe-augmented set of binoculars. As a soldier sweeps his surroundings in the hostile combat zones of 2012, "a custom helmet equipped with electro-encephalogram electrodes placed on the scalp" will be checking what his subconscious mind makes of what it is seeing. The idea is that the primitive parts of the human brain can spot threats which the conscious mind will miss.

When the paranoid id spots a threat, the HORNET intellect-o-specs will register this and flash up a marker on the screen, allowing the conscious mind to know what has spooked its deeper levels. The initial "breadboard" prototype test system is to cost $6.7m.

Long-time Reg readers won't have needed the headline to guess the source of the taxpayer greenbacks. Needless to say, CT2WS/HORNET is brought to you by DARPA, the famed Pentagon wingnut hothouse. The wacky military notioneers have always believed that America's brains could be its best weapon in the Wars On Stuff; though not, normally, quite so literally as this.

Northrop will lead a consortium of academic and industrial partners on the programme. ®

*We suggest Human-Enhanced Acquisition and Detection for Counterstrike in Advance of Surprise Events (HEADCASE). Or Neural Upgrade Technology Joined to Optical Binoculars (NUTJOB). Or even Manportable Intellect-Networked Detection Field-Utilised for Celeritous Kills (MINDFUCK)?

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
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.