Neurotechnology in Cyber Sports

Sports will evolve as neurotechnology expands our physical possibilities. Neurocontrolled robotics will allow us to play sports at a scale we haven’t yet imagined, and with none of the physical risk we see in contact sports today. As the neurotechnological sporting renaissance becomes a reality, will we see a new kind of athleticism emerge in which mental prowess and agility become the new buff?

Next-Gen Sports Have Big, Scary, Athletic Robotic Avatars

Neurotechnological innovator Neurogress plans to create a future in which full-fledged robot-androids can be controlled via a neurointerface. I just had to stop and reread that sentence a few times because it seems hard to fathom that we’re on the cusp of something so … well … Transformers-esque. In a future near you, a mayhem of giant, brain controlled athlete-bots of titanium and steel could soon be flying, running and generally crashing about for our entertainment.

Here is Neurogress’s compelling vision of what that looks like: “Imagine a race of flying or running neurocontrolled robots. Imagine being able to see what the robot sees in the real world with augmented reality glasses. Imagine an exoskeleton part controlled by the power of thought”. Companies like Neurogress are developing technologies that could create a whole new genre of spectator sports (and I for one would buy a season pass).

Maybe today the general feeling is that it just isn’t the same without that human physicality; without the crunch of bone on bone. But attitudes change alongside technology. With the toll we are seeing on athletes heavily involved in full-contact sports, society may reach a point where awesome, shiny robotic avatars are seen as the best of both worlds — a way for elite athletes to compete against other elite athletes, without any permanent harm to humans.

What Would Team Sports Look Like?

If we reach a point where groups of human minds can be linked via neurotechnology, this would hold amazing potential for team sports. Imagine a team of twenty nimble minded athletes coordinating an army of flying robots against an opposing team. I’d kind of like to imagine it might resemble a crossover between Terminator tag team wrestling and a particularly brutal game of Quidditch.

It’s moderately mind-blowing to think that, even though this is speculative futurism, the leading edge of these technologies are here right now, being developed by companies like Neurogress.

A New Breed of Future Athlete

As neurotechnological sport evolves, that winning edge in athleticism won’t come from purely physical attributes. It’ll increasingly come from other capabilities: quick reflexes, a fusion of cunning and intelligence, the ability to quickly adapt.

In this reality, sport will likely be a synergy of human brain and technological prowess. What might that look like? Neurogress is already working on technologies that are greatly increasing the sensitivity with which the mind can control devices. An agile and gifted mind will be able to do much more with this technology.

Our best athletes may therefore be very different from what we see today. It may be a future in which the best brains shall prevail.

Neurotechnology is opening up amazing new possibilities, from medicine and prosthetic limbs to our artistic and athletic pursuits.

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