New Tech Goes Too Far!

Posted April 1st, 2007 by Mike Cherim

The latest music device, the Sony “iMind System,” invented by Sony with the assistance of German neurologist and technologist, Hans Frieh, goes above and beyond what I consider acceptable tech. I think this new tech is invasive and irresponsible. I don’t know what they could’ve been thinking when they decided to move forward with this project but I urge you all to blog about this in hopes of putting a stop to it before things get completely out of hand. Already there have been isolated incidents worth worrying about.

The “iMind System” is a two-part music entertainment system that works by medically implanting part one, the so-called “iTrodes” — which are actually small receiver/transmitter electrodes — into the auditory cortex of the frontal cortex in the brain’s right hemisphere. It is this part of the brain that processes music.

The second part of the system looks sort of like your typical iPod. It’s placed in your pocket, purse, coffee table, or even in your car’s glove compartment — anywhere within a forty meter radius (131 feet). They’re calling this the “iBase.” This part silently transmits a uniquely-coded signal that’s picked up by the “iTrodes.” The “iTrodes” then process and re-transmit the signal as a vibration which is received by tiny hairs spread atop a spiral sheet, or membrane, in the inner ear. The vibration is broken down according to the spectrum of frequencies that make up sounds and is ultimately “heard” as music.

It’s really quite amazing, but it’s also damn scary. Just think of drivers using this device, students, whoever, and there’s no way tell users from non-users. Wires and ear buds never enter the picture. What’s so scary is that the Sony marketing people seem to be intent of doing a “ready-or-not” wide-scale public release as early as the end of this month. It’s not yet perfected! Controlling the volume has been a “challenge,” according to one article. But that’s not the half of it. There have been issues with the host rejecting the “iTrodes.” Some rejection is to be expected so they’re saying this is “acceptable.” There have also been other “minor issues,” such as what’s already been coined as “head-hacking.” This one really concerns me.

The first instance of this happened during a web transmission test to one of the test subjects, a volunteer inmate. He reportedly had his head cracked by one of the more tech-savvy prisoners confined in the same facility. The test subject claimed personal identifying data, passwords, and other private information was stolen, but authorities have been unable to confirm this and the perpetrator remains unidentified. Sony officially stated this was a one-time case and, with the help of experts at Microsoft, they have “patched” the system. I’m skeptical.

Call me old fashioned, unrivaled and unsurpassed sound quality be-damned, I don’t want something like that in my head. I contacted Sony, by they declined to comment to me directly so I can only rely on what I’ve heard and read… unless, of course, this is just one of those silly April first things! :) (Sorry Sony, not picking on you guys. Just having some fun.)

8 Responses to: “New Tech Goes Too Far!”

  1. Kaveman’s Daily Feed of Informative Blogs » New Tech Goes Too Far! responds:
    Posted: April 1st, 2007 at 1:06 am

    […] Original post by Mike Cherim […]

  2. David Zemens responds:
    Posted: April 1st, 2007 at 5:35 am

    Hook, line and sinker. I bit hard. You got me, Mike. :-)

  3. Elliott Cross responds:
    Posted: April 1st, 2007 at 6:49 am

    Hey, thanks for writing this….huh….shhhhh!

    Ok, back to the topic, I have this device implanted and it works great! ggggrrrr…… other than the small electrical shocks I get occassionally when going under high voltage lines, or through the drive through of McDonalds…..ggggrrrrrr…….

  4. Dale Cruse responds:
    Posted: April 1st, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Happy April Fool’s Day to you too!

    “Hans Frieh” - nice!

  5. JackP responds:
    Posted: April 1st, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    bah. My iMind Shuffle has worked for years, without needing any electrodes. I’ll just be ambling along and it’s “huh? why have I got that song in my head now, then?”. You’d be surprised at the crap that turns up in there. It’s not normally too bad, but every now and then I get a song which originated with a purple dinousaur or with The Wiggles, and those are the ones I really object to.

  6. Gill responds:
    Posted: April 1st, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    You have far too much time on your hands. Go help out with the housework or do another theme or something. :-)

  7. Scott responds:
    Posted: April 1st, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Nice try dude.

Sorry. Comments are closed.

Note: This is the end of the usable page. The image(s) below are preloaded for performance only.