Large Image Display: Sol Bianca: F-310 Mega-Arms Neural Interface Gun
This still has been taken from episode three of the Japanese anime show 'Sol Bianca' which aired in 1999. It features an overview of one of the few extremely realistic pieces of technology on the show. Whilst we do not have anything like this weapon in real-life yet, all the component technologies that make it up, are things we either do have in the lab, or are working towards.
There is quite a bit to this weapon, so let's lay it all out in a nice, straightforward list, and see what we are dealing with:
The device is a multiple component system, consisting of many technically separate devices which all communicate over the same body-area network, using a protocol in common.
The sections are:
1. The gun itself, consisting the hip-belt, attached gun discharge unit, and backpack. Gun can be mounted either side.
2. The full body jumpsuit with integrated wiring, likely checking for the tiny electrical discharges that signify muscle movements all over the user's body via electromyography (EMG).
3. A total surround Heads-Up Display unit or HUD. This intercepts the visual signal before it reaches the wearer's eyes and overlays virtual data on top of it. Appears to have multiple modes. In dark light, the cameras automatically switch over to night vision, but because the input is edited before it reaches the user, any sudden lighting is dampened before it blinds.
The HUD also contains the brain reading electrodes, likely a 3D EEG system that reads thought brainwaves with multiple points, to triangulate in three dimensions, precisely where in the brain they came from. An optogenetic interface using light is also possible, as the headset fully encloses the scalp.
HUD also covers the ears, likely to selectively muffle the sound of the gun discharging.
4. A reinforced section of the top of the jumpsuit that fits over the user's neck and connects the backpack to the HUD, so the user's neck does not take the weight.
5. Two glove interface units which fit over the user's fingers. These likely serve to prevent sweaty hands from interfering with grip, and probably use electromyography (EMG) to detect the user's hand's electrical pattern whilst inside the gun. Over time this would build up into a behaviometric identification pattern, tied to that user's little mannerisms, and would serve as a security device, linking the gun to one person only.
6. Additional ammo magazines as required.
The unit is shown with a high throughput data cable leading from the HUD to the gun, rather than a wireless connection. This makes sense for security purposes – the last thing you need is someone hacking into the system between your brain and the gun, and giving the gun false commands to fire.
However, in a modern system, this cable would just get in the way. More realistically, the connection likely runs from the HUD into the reinforced neck section of the jumpsuit, and down through the jumpsuit's internal circuitry to the gun mount at the hip – and from there into the gun. Stray data cables on weapons systems are never a good idea.
The Control SystemThe most important aspect of the gun is its control system. The gun has no trigger for the finger to press. Instead, you fire the gun with your mind. When the instinct to kill rises in the hind brain, that electrical activity is read and – quicker than the signal can travel down the spine into the hand – the gun discharges. In practical terms, as with modern such systems (that don't rely on ERP signals) it is practically instantaneous.
In addition, eye tracking hardware built into the HUD glasses track the movement of the eyes in real-time, so the camera system always knows where the eye is looking. A LiDAR system built onto the end of the gun itself, is used in conjunction with this data. When the eyes focus on a target, that is seen as a target lock, triggered by the muscles around the eye tensing. The LiDAR system on the gun immediately fires, the laser jabbing out and bouncing off the target, revealing the precise range. The HUD then displays a secondary targeting cursor, indicating where the user has to point the gun relative to where they wish to hit, to hit it. The gun itself is also tracked by the HUD, so the user can always see where it is pointing, relative to the other cursors on the screen.
Additional HUD visual indicators for the gun include which ammo the gun is presently loaded with, and how much ammo is left. These are shown whenever the user looks at the gun. So, a quick visual check gives precise results.
The ammo comes in five types, stored in the backpack and fed to the gun as needed. There are two barrels on the gun, one for bullets, one for larger projectiles. The calibre of ammo is unknown.
The ammo types are as follows:
Single Shot high impact round
Semi-Automatic short burst rounds
Full automatic flechlettes. Lightweight, small, many can be fired in very quick succession.
Large rubber bullet for attempted non-lethal takedown
High explosive grenade.
Obviously you really don't wish to mix up the ammo types. Firing a grenade at someone you wish to capture alive...won't end well. So, the visual indicators are extremely handy. If you are unsure, either look at the gun, or think of the ammo you would prefer.
Yes, literally think. Like the firing mechanism, the ammo control responds to the brain's thoughts. Think of the command to change to the ammo type you desire, and inside the gun, the old ammo is unloaded and the new readied for firing. Most likely via a relatively simple rotating barrel at the near end of the weapon. A little bit like an old six shooter, but with three slots on the top one, and two on the bottom. Both connected to the feeder tubes for their respective ammo types.
Instead of a hammer, magnetic linear induction would serve to accelerate the projectiles. Essentially, a rail gun setup.
The thought to trigger each ammo type would be unique to the user, not the gun, and the weapon would have to be calibrated for each operator to use properly. A user profile if you will. If the gun is to be used by multiple operators, a way to easily load multiple profiles would be desirable.
Changing ammo types is a bit tricky, and would have to be a higher thought process, in which the gun is trained or calibrated to the particular neural pathways of a given user. This is again, what happens with modern neural implants - the implant has to learn to recognise the thoughts of the user rather than the other way around.
What this involves, is the user thinking of a concept which the gun learns to read as say 'short burst fire', by receiving that input when it is told it will receive the command for short burst fire mode, and through pattern matching and repeated exposure, learns to recognise subtle variations of that thought as the same thing.
ReferencesSol Bianca: The Legacy – Take on Gaze-Directed Neural-controlled Weaponry