Could an Implanted Microchip Let You Feel Your Partner's Pain and Pleasure?
Byline: PAUL KENDALL
HOW many times do we say to someone: 'I know exactly how you feel'?
Now, it could become literally true - thanks to a microchip implant designed to allow two people to sense each other's pleasure and pain.
If it works, the [pounds sterling]250,000 device might improve the love life of couples by ensuring them greater emotional empathy. But it could also transmit phobias - such as the fear of spiders - from one to the other, says its inventor.
Robotics expert Professor Kevin Warwick plans to test it on himself and his wife Irena in a two-week experiment.
In an hour-long operation, the couple will have the chips, about the size of a mint wafer, implanted into their arms and connected to various nerves.
Electrical signals from the brain - which are naturally carried along the nerves - will be converted into radio waves via the chips and beamed to an ordinary computer.
The computer, fitted with special software, transmits the signals between the two implants. When a signal is received by a chip wearer, he or she should experience a similar physical effect to that being felt by the sender.
As well as sharing each other's excitement, pleasure and pain, the linked couple should also feel the sensation of movement.
Eventually, the chip could allow one person to move the limbs of another.
When he was planning the experiment last year, Professor Warwick speculated that the signals might even be temporarily held in the computer to produce a delayed reaction. 'If I move a finger, the computer will be able to store that signal,' the 45-year-old father of two explained. …