In what could be more marketing ploy than innovation, Sony has patented a method for directly manipulating parts of the brain to allow computers to simulate sensory experiences.
Sony’s idea is to use beams of ultrasound to penetrate the skull and stimulate specific brain areas involved in receiving or processing sensory information.
If appropriate parts of the brain could be targeted, and if the way in which the neurons process and code conscious experience could be understood, the technology is, in principle, feasible.
These are two very big ‘ifs’ however, and each describe two of the biggest problems in contemporary neuroscience. Indeed, some doubt whether the latter is possible at all.
So, this is probably not something you might find attached to your games console in the near future.