Friday, December 01, 2006

Bionic eyes

Because of personal reasons, this is a subject I look at closely. Every now and then in the last 5 years there are news regarding retina implants that will contain electrodes that when stimulated they produce some kind of vision in the brain. Mostly for now it's about light/dark spots, but it really promises a lot. This kind of bionic eyes that will originally have as a first objective to bring back sight to blind or half blind people will become more and more interesting. That got me thinking ... thinking in a future day when they finally get a person to see directly in their brain with a retinal implant, obviously the retinal implant will be connected to a camera ... then next thing I imagine is why not a wireless camera? and what we get at that point starts becoming interesting. It could become common to have a retinal implant that connects to a remote camera, maybe multiple remote shared cameras ... this would be I think the first version of the distributed human being, where you can be seeing something as if you are in another place, you might rent these cameras and have a trip through some remote place while not leaving home (I guess we'd have to figure out how to switch to/from our attached eyes as well).
I guess one day when more senses are re-wired to wireless devices our whole person might become distributed, shared and this brings up the fact that the only irreplaceable part of ourselves is most probably the brain.
Got a little futuristic for a change, it reminds me of Bev (where are you Bev Evans? I totally lost track of you since Kansas '97), an old friend that once told me: "when your dreams come true, go get new ones!!". Once our old science fiction becomes closer and real let's go get new science fiction ;)


Dan said...

I thought about this. Only when I thought about it, I thought about putting the eyes in a humanoid robot. With brain implants ( they are now making it possible to control a robot arm just by thought. Once that is perfected why not control the whole robot with arms, legs, trunk and a head with eyes like you were saying. With all of this the robot could be my avatar. I am a disabled person with ALS. Right now I need caregivers for everything: Getting me dressed, getting me from my bed to the wheelchair, feeding me and so on and so forth. Maybe I could do all that using my avatar. The part about controlling two bodies at once is kind of weird but at the very least I could have the experience of an able body again. I have even heard that it may be possible to have tactile sensation from sensors on the robot. I don’t think this is too far away. The technology is just about there.


Cecilia Abadie said...

I loved the robot avatar idea!Promising and inspiring ... I'll keep thinking/reading/blogging about this!!