Tuesday, 22 May 2012


 When I first saw Honda's Mind-Machine Interface years ago, I knee-jerked. In almost the same moment I went from "Whoa!" (excited), to "Whoa." (anxious).  The beneficial applications seem obvious, but what other applications, not so benign, might this technology find it's way into?

Video after the break

Honda's Brain-Machine Interface technology has been around for a few years, but this newly polished video presents it in a completely different light. Like a lot of technological breakthroughs, it seems like it could be a really great idea and I can see fantastic applications for handicapped people confined to "smart wheelchairs" that would allow them to really live an active, mobile life despite being trapped in a lame body. All it would take is a healthy mind. And that IS an amazement.

Yes, Honda -the car company - is actually more accurately a mobility company. For years they've been developing and actually releasing high-tech products such as a very competent fuel-cell car that the American government would like everyone to forget about, the world's most advanced humanoid robot, a breakthrough in jet aircraft design, innovative personal mobility devices and of course, even way-out technology like this, the Brain-Machine Interface.

Keep in mind this is just the crawling stage of BMI's development. Once the technology is perfected, the need for wearing that DeathStar Gunner-like helmet will be eliminated. The device(s) required to read our thoughts would be integrated into our living environment; our homes, our cars, our workspace and wherever else we might be. That's when this gets weird for me. Are you starting to to see where this could go?

Originally the footage was much more technical and didn't have the cheery, excited voiceover and pleasant music. It was just the footage, and it creeped me out. Despite Honda's North American division being responsible for completely undermining Honda's foundation principals and launching some of the dullest, most uninspired and poorly imagined vehicles in recent history, I still have a lot of faith in the Honda Worldwide company and it's aspirations/philosophy. But this? ... this is a whole new ball game. How do you feel about controlling machines with our minds? Good? Bad? Weird?

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