Did DARPA just contract to build the Matrix implant?

This amazing 'implant' idea seems to have some backing, the 'x-gen' neural implant device for connecting the human brain to complex supercomputers would result from a common language scientists are hoping to find that will allow bio-functional circuitry.  The bridge between human biology and man made circuitry will use bio-mimicry to learn and understand the language of the body and the signals it produces.

neural implant electrode array

This is digital circuitry talking to 'electro-chemical' signals, and the trick will be to find a way to communicate.  It is like two supercomputers trying to connect on a dial up modem, it is going to be a slow connection, but it will advance to produce a miniaturized brain implant less than one cubic centimeter in size according to DARPA officials.

“Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300-baud modem,” said Phillip Alvelda, the NESD program manager, in press materials accompanying the announcement.

“Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics.”

the current tools can open up about 100 channels of information, the goal is to get that up to one million channels of individual neurons.  It will take some innovation and engineering, DARPA officials say the NESD system will require breakthroughs in nanotech, synthetic biology, neuroscience, low-power electronics, photonics and medical engineering to say the least.  On the way we will probably see some major changes in social conditioning and how people feel about internables in general.

The reasons to pursue this type of technology are many, DARPA wants to bring sight and sound to those without the ability.  NESD could be better than what there is now for those with hearing and seeing impairment.

Brain chip is on the way
Got Chips?

Potential applications of the technology are vast, but in the short term DARPA is hoping to create devices for those with sight or hearing impairments. For example, the NESD system could feed digital auditory or visual information into the brain with far greater resolution and clarity than current technology.

It is not well known that over 100,000 people worldwide have electrical implants in their brains in order to combat Parkinson's and depression among other things like appetite suppression. 

DARPA wants to invest $70 million in the initiative over the next five years.  

chip brain interface
chip-brain interface

The NESD program is part of the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative launched in 2013. There is more info at the DARPA web site.