Human beings may soon merge with machines with the implantation of a device that produces the visual capabilities of an advanced robot.
Peter Rothman, the editor of h+ magazine, attended the agency's two-day gathering in Silicon Valley and wrote about some of the specifics of cortical modems.
The device will enhance vision, but its primary use appears to be replicating the Internet function of Google Glass without the glasses.
A computer screen would be seamlessly integrated into one's vision.
Content that appears on websites will be displayed in the corner of the eye, and virtual items can be presented as if they were part of the real world.
Emails and possibly even verbal messages could be sent from one person's device to another, as if users were having a telepathic conversation.
Specifics of the visionary qualities aren't clear, but the goals seem to be making everyone's eyesight perfect and eliminating the need for glasses and the deterioration of vision that often comes with age.
A person would also most likely be able to zoom in and scan a large area for certain objects.
Cortical modems work by altering one's neurological DNA, which could have serious but otherwise unknown side effects, from both a psychological and biological standpoint.
DARPA also announced the creation of a Biological Technologies Office to focus on technology that can heal, think and ultimately adapt to new environments like a living organism.
These goals may seem unrealistic, but Vice notes DARPA had a huge role in the invention of the Internet, so it's probably safe to trust their vision of the future.