Direct Neural Interface

Standard neural interfacing allowing direct brain-localnet connection.

The commonest form of input-output communications device in bionts is the direct neural link. The connections are made to the peripheral nervous system. This is because the direct correspondence between the data carried and the actual pattern of neural firing in the peripheral nerves makes both writing the interfacing software and the process of learning to use the link easy. Instead of attempting to interpret and decode the interpret the abstract neural structures representing ideas in the brain, the DNI link uses positive feedback and the adaptability of the subject's brain itself to establish a successful linkage.

Neural interfaces are assembled non-invasively by nanomachines that build the neural links from proteins delivered in the bloodstream. The links are then connected to local processor clusters and then to an external interface. In most cases there are two separate input-output systems: a low bandwidth system using a subdermal induction loops (this is typically shared by other internal systems) and a very high bandwidth optical jack.

Vocal communication via DNI is very straightforward, involving connections to the nerves controlling speech and the auditory nerves. A user who wishes to communicate verbally via DNI can consciously activate the system, then by speaking normally or subvocalising, e can communicate with another user or with speech-recognition software. Incoming messages are routed via the auditory nerves.

In contrast, direct cerebral neural interfaces are much more complex and learning to make use of them is a slow and difficult task. Such intimate links require advanced neurotechnology to work well. However such devices can be created and used by transapients where necessary; the ultimate expression of such technology is technotelepathy, using nanotech or biotech to interface with a subject with or without eir permission.

The first commercial DNI system was marketed in 95AT by Biotronics Incorporated, in conjunction with the VR-entertainment megacorporation Inscape. This was the "Gibson neural jack" (named after the famous writer of cyberpunk). Over the next year other corporations followed suit with competing models (the Hacker, the InterFase, etc. The new neural interfaces were used to give far more powerful VR immersion than previous virtual reality rigs.
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Development Notes
Text by Ad Astra

Initially published on 09 October 2001.