Humans' relationship with technology is growing ever-more intimate. In a sense, we have already become cyborgs, tethered to our external electronic devices, outsourcing to them our memories, our sense of direction, our socialising, our lives. But, if the past year's technological advancements are any indication, our relationship with technology is going to get a whole lot closer. Technology could one day soon become regularly integrated with our biology to manage disease and augment human ability. Here were some of the biggest breakthroughs of the past year on the cyborg front.
Tagged With cyborgs
After losing his left arm to cancer in 2008, Jonny Matheny's life changed radically. The self-styled West Virginia hillbilly, formerly a retail bread sales and delivery man, started travelling to medical research facilities around the country to volunteer as a test-subject for advanced prosthetics and experimental surgeries. Today, Matheny is something of a Model T for cyborgs, wielding one of the most advanced mind-controlled prosthetics ever built.
Our excitement with and rapid uptake of technology — and the growing opportunities for artificial brain enhancement — are putting humans more firmly on the path to becoming cyborgs, according to evolution experts from the University of Adelaide.
Professor Maciej Henneberg and Dr Aurthur Saniotis have worked to chart the full scope of human evolution, with a look at the past, present and future development of our species.
Image Cache: The world's largest orthopedics event is happening right now in Leipzig, Germany. From prosthetic legs that enable people to run faster to exoskeletons that can make the disabled walk again, OT World 2016 is showcasing some of the most futuristic inventions you've ever seen. They're also creepy as hell.
Michael Bareev-Rudy never expected to have his finger implanted with a magnet. But in November 2015, the 18-year-old decided to embed a tiny magnet in his index finger at an event held in Dusseldorf, Germany. A crowd gathered to watch as a man in a smart grey suit and green surgical mask carefully sliced open the sandy-haired 18-year-old's finger.
Today, we rediscovered that people are willing to go to extreme lengths to gain mutant-like abilities. Are you one of them?
Cockroaches have often been selected for remote control cyborg treatment, but they're typically given instructions by electrically stimulating their antennae. This little critter, however, has the electrics on his back hardwired into his nervous system, allowing for human remote control of his motor functions.
I've never been able to hear well. As a child, I was in and out of the hospital as doctors struggled to treat chronic ear infections that left me in throbbing pain and, eventually, relative silence. By the time I went to college, I had only one half-functioning ear drum and no hope of regaining the hearing I'd lost after years of damage. Surgery was too risky, the doctors said. This year, I decided to take the risk, and the results were extraordinary.
Do you ever get tired of holding your phone to your face? How about trying to chat in loud, crowded places? No need to fuss. Motorola has you covered with its latest patent application: a smartphone microphone that's tattooed onto your neck. Just think, you could have a little piece of Google embedded right into your body.
The dream of the cyborg is coming true at an exhilarating rate. As humans gets better and better at making machines, we keep attaching those machines to our bodies to make ourselves better humans. It seems at times that the only question left is if we can put a human brain in a robotic frame. Actually, it's not a matter of if. It's a matter of when.