Meet the World's First Official Cyborg!

Khryss | Published 2017-04-06 18:12
Humans have always found a way to use technology to aid their physical and mental capabilities. From pharmaceuticals to prosthetic, it's undeniable how rapid these useful advances are. This led some people to thinking, what's next? Well, let me introduce you to Neil Harbisson. The world's first official cyborg! But he's not like that Ghost in The Shell cyborg who can camouflage at some point or who can be transferred in a different body if necessary (not like that). What makes him different? What has been augmented? Let's find out. Harbission is an artist born with achromatopsia, or complete color-blindness. Now 33, he sees this so far from being a disability and even considers this an asset. His reason for this "change" is that he would want to explore and experience world in a totally different way by understanding different dimensions to sight. "The definition that [scientist] Manfred Clynes gave for "cyborg" in 1960 was that in order to explore and survive in new environments, we had to change ourselves instead of changing our environment. Now, we do have the tools to change ourselves. We can add new senses, new organs," he told NatGeo. "My aim was never to overcome anything. Seeing in greyscale has many advantages... I wanted to create a new organ for seeing," he said. With an antenna-like sensor implanted in his head, he can "hear" both visible and invisible wavelenghts of light (Talk about a whole new level of synesthesia!). "At first I could just sense the visual spectrum of light, but I’ve upgraded it to include the infrared and ultraviolet [UV] spectra." The British government even permitted him to wear his headgear in his passport photo! "There is no difference between the software and my brain, or my antenna and any other body part. Being united to cybernetics makes me feel that I am technology." "I feel connected with nature in a stronger way. I consider myself trans-species: Having an antenna is common for other species, or sensing in infrared and ultraviolet, but it’s not traditional for humans." Mind. Blown. Good for him he can tell when to go to the beach or how much sunscreen to put! I wonder what a smartphone or laptop screen looks like to him.
Hey! Where are you going?? Subscribe!

Get weekly science updates in your inbox!