Common technology throughout most human space, neuroconnectors are cybernetic devices that represent the primary means of interface between an operator and many classes of technology and heavy equipment.
Appearance and Implantation
A neuroconnector consists of a small, pronged device that is surgically implanted into back of the user's neck between the C3 and C4 cervical vertebrae. Once implanted, microscopic nanofibril sensors extend from the neuroconnector's prongs and pierce through the intervertebral disc, infiltrating the spinal nerves. Like other intrusive cybernetic augments and medical technologies, the materials that commercial neuroconnectors are constructed from are mandated to be impregnated with invisibility proteins that subdue the surrounding immune response, preventing rejection. For this reason, patients with freshly implanted neuroconnectors are subjected to a rigorous anti-infection regimen for weeks after the procedure to prevent stowaway infection.
Depending on the class of neuroconnector, the outer appearance of the device can vary wildly. Most civilian models simply appear as a plate or slate on the back of the neck, while military-grade devices are designed to be heavier duty and often appear as a large plug or port. Many neuroconnector users choose to conceal the device with hair or a custom cover-sheath designed to replicate the appearance of their skin exactly.
Passive neuroconnectors simply read nervous signals travelling from the brain to the peripheral nervous system via spinal nerves, and relays that information through the port on the back of the neck. A receiver can then translate those signals into commands for a hardware device. Such receivers are typically leads connected directly to the operator's neck port, but can also receive commands remotely. This allows, for example, an operator to control heavy machinery such as an exoskeleton, without the need for cumbersome manual control. Generally these devices also allow for the user to specify special commands based on certain thought patterns or motions. The devices can also measure and record the user's biometrics in real time.
Active neuroconnectors are more sophisticated devices also capable of hijacking spinal nerves to transmit nervous signals directly into the operator's central nervous system; nominally this allows the user to receive feedback from their connected devices. Use of such devices is highly illegal within the Homeworld Confederacy for a multitude of reasons. In addition to a high failure rate due in part to undercompensation for each individual's unique neuroarchitechture, interference or feedback through an active neuroconnector can distract a user during operation of dangerous machinery and at worst cause massive CNS damage. Even worse, criminal hijacking of an active neuroconnector can have even more disastrous consequences.
A technology employed by the Ativari Conclave analogous to an active neuroconnector, a neuropsych interface is a far more sophisticated and less intrusive device than its human counterpart. These devices rest adjacent to their user's psychokinetic ganglia, relaying signals in the form of subtle psychokinetic fields. This allows direct, real time contact between the user and connected technology without the drawbacks present in a neuroconnector.
Advanced neuropsych interfaces such a those integrated into Willblade combatskins push the scope of the technology even farther, acting as a repeater for the user's psychokinetic fields and enhancing the range and power of their abilities.