DARPA’s neuro-optical binoculars


Several years ago, the mad scientists at DARPA (the research and development wing of the Pentagon) conceived of a pair of binoculars that would enhance soldiers’ ability to detect enemies.

Danger Room informs us that DARPA has just awarded the giant defence contractor Northrop Grumman a $7.6 million contract to develop the device. Here’s a snippet from the press release:

In Phase One of the program, the Northrop Grumman team plans to demonstrate the concept by building a breadboard system and complete a preliminary design for the company’s Human-aided Optical Recognition/Notification of Elusive Threats (HORNET) system.

HORNET will utilize a custom helmet equipped with electro-encephalogram electrodes placed on the scalp to record the user’s continuous electrical brain activity. The operator’s neural responses to the presence or absence of potential threats will train the system’s algorithms, which will continue to be refined over time so that the warfighter is always presented with items of relevance to his mission.