Forget Airpods, could threads embedded in your head soon allow you to stream music directly into your brain - bypassing your ears altogether?
Yes, maverick tech billionaire Elon Musk believes, and the key could lie with his pioneering brain interface company Neuralink.
Neuralink, which launched in 2016, is centered on creating devices which can be implanted in the human brain, and Musk made the comments while recruiting tech talent for the startup.
The startup is working on flexible threads, thinner than human hair, designed to be implanted into the brain to ‘“read” brain activity.
The “ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces” are built to transmit brain impulses to machines, with an end goal of allowing humans to “merge” with artificial intelligence (AI).
Musk has promised an update from the company in August.
Last year, the company revealed that it would be using a surgical robot to implant thin thread-like wires into a user’s brain, connected to an external processing unit.
Ultimately, the company hopes to make the connection wireless.
Scientists behind the project have developed a tiny implant with more than 3,000 electrodes, attached to flexible threads measuring about the tenth of the size of a hair, capable of monitoring about 1,000 neurons.
It would link up to an app, allowing users to control a mobile device, or a mouse and keyboard on a computer.
The company has already performed successful tests of the technology on mice and even apes, it revealed last year.
But in the nearer future, we may be able to listen to Spotify in complete silence, Musk said this week.
Replying to a question from a Twitter user, Musk said that the technology could one day be used to stream music directly into users’ brains.
Musk took to Twitter this week to recruit new talent for the startup, saying, “If you’ve solved hard problems with phones / wearables (sealing, signal processing, inductive charging, power mgmt, etc), please consider working at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Musk said that the technology “would solve a lot of brain/spine injuries & is ultimately essential for AI symbiosis”.
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Musk has previously said: “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.
“It’s mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output.”