Next gadget for U.S. soldiers: Brain-aided binoculars? - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Next gadget for U.S. soldiers: Brain-aided binoculars?

Linthicum_Military binoculars may soon get information directly from the brains of the soldiers using them.

With the idea that that the brain absorbs and assesses more visual information than it lets on -- and that it could make more sense out of what's visible through high-power binoculars if it stopped filtering that information -- the Pentagon has awarded contracts to two defense firms to develop brainwave-aided binoculars.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, is betting that intelligent binoculars can tap into the brain's ability to spot patterns and movement and help soldiers detect threats from miles farther away than they can with traditional binoculars.

Electrodes on the scalp inside a helmet will record the user's brain activity as it processes information about high-resolution images produced by wide-angle military binoculars. Those responses will train the binoculars over time to recognize threats.

"You need to present the soldier with many images and then use the person's brain to figure out what is of interest," said Yuval Boger, CEO of Sensics, Inc., a Baltimore-based maker of panoramic head-mounted displays.

Sensics belongs to a team led by Northrop Grumman that won $6.7 million for its research. Other members include Northrop's Linthicum-based Electronic Systems division; SAIC of San Diego, California; Theia Technologies LLC, of Wilsonville, Oregon; and Dallas-based L-3 Communications Infrared Products.

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgetown University, Portland State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder are also participating.

Paul Hasler, an associate professor of engineering at Georgia Tech, described the technology as an example of "neuromorphic" engineering that uses hardware and software to emulate human intelligence.

"You would see a certain picture in your field of view, but the device would actually be looking over a much wider space -- and if it found something interesting it would present you with that picture as well," Hasler said.

The other contractor to win a contract is HRL Laboratories, which received $4.3 million, said DARPA spokeswoman Jan Walker.

Dr. Robert Shin, assistant professor of neurology and ophthalmology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said the brain is constantly processing images but most get filtered out.

"There is a level where the brain can identify things before it ever makes it to the conscious level," Shin said. "Your brain says, 'It may be something.' But it might not realize that it is something that should rise to the conscious level."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

    The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:13 AM EDT2018-05-22 04:13:57 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 7:34 PM EDT2018-05-22 23:34:31 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this May 20, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. In emails obtained by The Associated Press, George Nader claims...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File). FILE - In this May 20, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. In emails obtained by The Associated Press, George Nader claims...

    A top Trump fundraiser and a senior adviser to a UAE crown prince ran a secretive campaign, trading lobbying against Qatar for defense contracts from Gulf countries.

    A top Trump fundraiser and a senior adviser to a UAE crown prince ran a secretive campaign, trading lobbying against Qatar for defense contracts from Gulf countries.

  • Trump won't say if he has confidence in Rosenstein

    Trump won't say if he has confidence in Rosenstein

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:12 AM EDT2018-05-22 04:12:21 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 7:34 PM EDT2018-05-22 23:34:15 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. Trump said he will "demand" that the Justice Department open ...(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. Trump said he will "demand" that the Justice Department open ...

    The agreement came after President Donald Trump made an extraordinary demand that the Justice Department investigate whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign.

    The agreement came after President Donald Trump made an extraordinary demand that the Justice Department investigate whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign.

  • Congress moves to dismantle key post-crisis bank rules

    Congress moves to dismantle key post-crisis bank rules

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:33 PM EDT2018-05-22 16:33:04 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 7:33 PM EDT2018-05-22 23:33:41 GMT
    Congress is moving to dismantle a chunk of the rules framework for banks to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis. (Source: CNN)Congress is moving to dismantle a chunk of the rules framework for banks to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis. (Source: CNN)
    Congress is moving to dismantle a chunk of the rules framework for banks to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis. (Source: CNN)Congress is moving to dismantle a chunk of the rules framework for banks to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis. (Source: CNN)

    Congress is moving to dismantle a chunk of the rules framework for banks to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis that brought millions of lost jobs and foreclosed homes. The House was to approve...

    Congress is moving to dismantle a chunk of the rules framework for banks to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis that brought millions of lost jobs and foreclosed homes. The House was to approve legislation to roll back the Dodd-Frank law.

Powered by Frankly