This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever come across. A man called Neil Harbisson, who was born with a rare condition that causes complete colour blindness, developed a technology that translates colors into sounds for him.
This also makes him a cyborg (short for “cybernetic organism”, is a being with both organic and cybernetic parts), and even his passport photo now includes his device.
“One day I started hearing colors in my dreams. Then I understood what being a cyborg meant. It’s not the union between the eyeborg and my head, what converts me into a cyborg, but the union between the software and my brain. My body and the technology have united. It’s very very human to modify one’s body with human creations.”
Of course, the video gave me butterflies. If I had a change to electronically modify parts of my body to enhance my abilities, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I also have the natural tendency to “see” sound, being a very strongly visual person averse to lots of noises.
The beauty of all this though is that in 2010, Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas created the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization to help humans become cyborgs. The foundation has also experimented with other sensory devices, including an “earborg,” which translates sound into color, and a “speedborg,” which allows people to detect movement through electronic earrings that vibrate. You know what that means? We might actually have the chance to become cyborgs.
Would you, if you could?