Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bionic Sensory Enhancements

As we creep up on the turn of the year, I've been thinking about the future.

I remember the heyday of early-'80s Cyberpunk (I know, I just admitted I'm old), when science fiction writers explored ideas about the possibilities of linking humans and computers. 

Poking wires and jacks into the brain? Er, maybe not!

Back then, however, we weren't thinking about wireless connections--we assumed we'd have to "jack in" to a computer, and of course there was a lot of discussion about the impracticality of poking wires and jacks into the brain. Even the 1999 movie The Matrix assumed a hardwired connection.

These days, reality has outstripped our earlier "wildest imaginations." I recently found a roundup of current realities in bionic sensory inputs that I thought you might find interesting. Warning: it's from D News, which means there are a lot of ads at the end that I couldn't edit out.

But it also contains a lot of interesting information in the middle. Anyone who is interested in the future, whether science fictional or otherwise, probably will appreciate that part. 

In light of the title, I was disappointed that host Trace Dominguez didn't get more into future applications: an aromatherapy lapel pin was about the extent of that exploration, though he did say contemporary cochlear implants and a retinal prosthesis he profiled were in their early stages. In the YouTube show notes he cites his sources, which can be helpful if one is doing research.

But as someone who hopes to live a bit longer into a future that even a few years ago we couldn't predict, I'm fascinated with the things that keep popping up. I hope you are, too.

IMAGE and VIDEO: Many thanks to the blog Could this Happen? for the photo (also an interesting blog post), and to D News for this video.

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