Feeds

Northrop scoops DARPA mindreader-helmet threat visor cash

Electrode-hat paranoia specs will detect subversives

High performance access to file storage

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)?

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.