Neuroenhancers are designed to boost various mental performances and/or monitor and record brain activity, with plenty of new applications in use or in development.

On the simple end of the spectrum, an Australian company’s “SmartCap” keeps workers alert with voice warnings and vibrations when it detects a decrease in brain activity. The “Muse” headband provides neurofeedback to help users manage stress and improve athletic performance. Another device monitors brain waves and delivers low-grade electric pulses to moderate differences between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Perhaps more ominously, the Chinese military and some industries are using the technology for “emotional surveillance” as a means of optimizing productivity.