We have officially arrived in the future. People are starting to implant technology into their body to transcend what it means to be human. Where will this trend lead us, and how will we get there?
Folks, it’s hard to be a writer for a tech blog. Every time I turn around, my mind is blown. I wonder, would it be easier to replace my brain with a machine designed to be jaded?
A brain transplant is a radical idea; it comes straight out of the pages of science fiction (as do many of the stories that we write.) Yet, apparently, scientists love creating unbelievable realities. Cyborgs, for example.
However, who knows if cybernetic implants will even be necessary to transcend humanity? The study of biology may enable implants that make available the abilities and senses that we want and other animals have.
Any way you slice it, human evolution is more in human hands than ever before. Cyborg Nest developed an implant that allows its users to sense true north.
Meet the Cyborg
The first thing you’ll notice when looking at Liviu Babitz‘s chest is a small silicone gadget. The device is held in place with two titanium bars under the skin, and it gives a slight vibration whenever Babitz faces north.
Cyborg Nest made the device with the intention of giving people a sense that they did not have before. According to Scott Cohen, co-founder of Cyborg Nest, there is an entire universe worth of senses we do not have. The company is in the business of modifying bodies, but not for medical purposes as you might expect. They just want to expand what it is to be human.#ScottCohen of #CyborgNest wants to expand what it means to be #human.Click To Tweet
Babitz isn’t alone. Other enhancements that have already been installed include eye modifications that allow the colorblind to “hear” infrared and ultraviolet light and a sensor that can detect an earthquake anywhere in the world.
While these enhancements may sound trivial, they mimic what can be found in the animal kingdom. In Babitz’s case, the implant mimics the magnetoreception found in birds, bats, and flies.
First Animals, now Humans
We don’t know how birds do it, but we know that they can discern true north to navigate long distances, and now, so can Babitz.
Of course, it is possible that the human body is already capable of sensing direction. After all, many people have a finely tuned sense of direction, and that kind of sense could be sharpened over time, but technology can help us to expedite evolutionary timelines and make such a trait available in the here and now.
We look to the animal kingdom for many of our medical advancements, but cybernetic implants seem more like the evolution of wearables rather than the next step for humanity.
Sensing the Future
Cyborg Nest is a company devoted to expanding the senses and possibly creating new ones, but the result is, so far, the same as what can be achieved through wearable technology.
Did Babitz have to implant the device into his chest? No, but by doing so he may have paved the way for the future of useful implants.
Cyborg Nest’s devices seem to interact with the user via slight vibrations, but what else is possible? Eventually, the golden egg of this kind of research would be a direct neural integration. Until then, we might settle for more cumbersome means such as an apparatus that could apply slight pressure in multiple directions to indicate where a tracked object moves.
The potential for this kind of tech is staggering, but we’re only seeing the first vestige.