The US Army is ramping up the development of technology that previously could have been classified as X-Files, "making science fiction into reality" as Dr. John Parmentola, Director of their Research and Laboratory Management. The list of things currently in the works is amazing: regenerating body parts on "nano-scaffolding", telepathy through electronic impulses in the scalp, and self-aware virtual photorealistic soldiers that can be deployed in the battlefield through "quantum ghost imaging". To test these they want to use them into a massively multi-player online games like World of Warcraft or Eve online:
We want to use the massively multi-player online game as an experimental laboratory to see if they're good enough to convince humans that they're actually human, that can think on their own, have emotions and talk in local slang. I actually interact with virtual humans in terms of asking them questions and they're responding.
Once they have them perfected, they want to "deploy" these soldiers using something called "quantum ghost imaging". This will allow to create photorealistic, non-cheesy-fake-CNN-looking holograms out of thin air by "pairing photons that do no reflect or bounce off an object, but off other photons," whatever that means. Parmentola explains it as ""like having a tracing tool ... that goes over the image and that's connected to another one on a piece of paper that exactly imitates what it is that you are tracing with the other pen" which leaves me scratching my head as well. He hinted that this is closer than we can imagine.
The rest of their projects are equally mindblowing. Although this used to be the subject of much rumourology and speculation, the Parmentola confirmed that they are working in:
• A project to erase bad memories, which will be critical in helping soldiers with psychological damage.
• Devices that will translate one soldier's thoughts into electrical signals that can be beamed to other soldiers, to help in stealth operations.
• Growing back body parts, both internal organs and limbs (Parmentola said researchers are not far away from this), using molecular-sized particles that act as nano-scaffolding for the human cells to grow, dissolving after the organ has regenerated.
Let's hope it's no all smoke and mirrors, because this research has the potential to benefit countless others outside the battlefield. [DoD Buzz]