DARPA has awarded $500,000 to a company that’s developing a technology to deliver an ear that can work like a digital camera.
The project is part of DARPA’s “Neuralink” program, which aims to develop the next generation of prosthetic ear implants.
The company’s CEO, Jonathan Smith, says the project is “an attempt to bridge the gap between what we have now and what we could have,” by helping to design the right kind of artificial ear.
“Neurink will enable you to take your existing hearing to the next level,” he said.
“Your normal hearing is limited by your skull and your brain, so if you want to be able to hear in other ways, you need to put an ear to your skull.”
The ear will need to be placed at the level of the brain to capture the sound of the wearer’s body.
The technology is designed to work by detecting electrical signals coming from nearby electrical devices.
In a video, Smith says the technology will help users to “see and hear in a more natural way.”
DARPA says the ear will also help with speech, with an implantable microphone able to pick up “the nuances of words and sentences, or to read a text with more accuracy than we have yet achieved with conventional speech recognition.”
The system is currently in the early stages of testing.
The ear’s technology isn’t the only new technology DARPA is working on.
The agency is also working on a wireless hearing aid, which uses lasers to sense sound.
That could help with hearing loss, and is one of the programs main goals for “Neuroink.”