For years he wore an external electronic eye, which picked up colour frequencies through its camera and transformed them into distinct sounds. Spanish artist and musician Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, a rare form of total colour blindness.
However, two years ago, he convinced surgeons to implant a chip inside his skull – similar to a cochlear implant used by the hard of hearing – that converts images into sound vibrations.
The antenna, which he calls the “eyeborg”, consists of a camera on one end and an audio input on the other, which is now implanted inside the back of his skull.
A WiFi connector inside the chip also allows him to hear images sent from a mobile phone, without even looking at them.
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Computer game fanatic James Young tragically lost an arm and a leg when he was dragged on to the tracks between two carriages of a train.
Despite his loss, James refused to let it interrupt his life. He even taught himself to use a gaming controller using his teeth and gets around using a wheelchair for long distances.
A year ago he answered an advert for a gaming company looking for an amputee gamer. He ended up receiving a bionic arm from gaming company Konami , modelled on lead character Snake from Metal Gear Solid.
The arm was created using a 3D printer after four months of design. It is controlled by sensors which react to muscle movement in his back.
The arm has a quad-copter drone which can launch and fly from his arm, a built in smart watch, charging points for mobile phones and can grip and lift. It also has lighting which he can change to suit his mood and a laser and torch.
Read more: Brits build ‘world’s smartest prosthetic limb’ with network of sensors that act like human nerves
Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at Reading University, has had several chips implanted into his arms since 1997.
These chips link his nervous system to a computer. They work by emitting electronic currents when they picks up a radio frequency transmitted nearby.
By receiving and acting on these signals, computers can operate a range of devices – like turning on lights on when Warwick enters a room and opening doors automatically.
It is hoped the technology could one day help elderly people with a range of day-to-day tasks.
Rob Spence lost the use of his eye following a shooting accident when he was nine.
But decades on, the Canadian documentary maker had the idea of replacing the eye with a camera .
Spence – who now calls himself Eyeborg – said the eye-cam allows him to conduct interviews without the intrusion or distraction of bulky cameras or film crews.
The eye-cam resembles a regular prosthetic eye but it is embedded with a camera.
Spence cannot see out of the lens, but a what the ‘eye’ can see is visible from a handheld monitor. The camera can be switched on and off with the tap of a button.
Rich Lee, who describes himself as a biohacker, transhumanist, and space gangster, came to prominence in 2013 after implanting headphones in his ears, which allowed him to pick up audio signals beyond the range of human hearing
Now he has created an implant called the Lovetron9000, which can be inserted beneath a man’s pubic bone to makes his penis vibrate during sex.
The Lovetron9000 runs on a rechargeable battery that can operate for about 45 minutes on a single charge, according to Lee. Like a normal vibrator, it offers multiple pulses and rhythms to choose from.
The idea, it seems, is to turn the man with the implant into a human vibrator for his partner’s pleasure.
Lee himself will be the first person to receive the implant – known as a “subdermal sexual enhancement vibrator” – later this year.
Read more: The robot army of the future – from killer drones to cyborg super soldiers
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