On the contrary, they've had virtual reality simulators which are the fore-fathers of said technology.
When you throw a helmet on with gloves, and the environment reacts to your body and it's movements, only now, the technology is more based towards neural impulses.
However, newer virtual reality simulators are being designed to incorporate both technologies. Both of the mind, and the physical interfaces as well. Just something more to immerse you into the digitized world.
Technology has always been there, it's a matter of whether or not a market for it has been there.
example: Liquid Metal, an invention made in the 40s, which, up until now (March 2010) there has never been a market for it. (now they use it to make screens for IPods, PDAs, etc. because it's stronger than glass, and more flexible than plastic, just using this as reference to an example)
As far as this NIA goes, odds are good, it's the first of many newer versions to come once the market for them (demand) increases. thus, as a result, the technology becomes more and more common.
(Like the general PC found in ones home)
Technology has alwasy been there, it's just a matter of when the market for said technology started to merge. Both Military, and Civilian.