Sophisticated cybernetic implants have been a science fiction staple for some time now, with their most recent and prominent appearance arguably having been in Eidos Montreal’s highly popular video game Deus Ex: Human Revolution. In order to promote the game, publisher Square Enix commissioned filmmaker and self proclaimed cyborg (or eyeborg, due to his wireless video camera eye) Rob Spence to make a documentary about the current state of contemporary cybernetics, prosthetics and human augmentation. Human Revolution is set in 2027, and as a prequel comes 25 years before the events of the previous games. But can we realistically expect a similar level of technology once we reach 2027, and if so what sort of augmentations might we be looking? Here are a few of the cooler ones.
Retinal implants will probably be one of the most popular kinds. Perhaps one of their most important functions will be restoring sight to those who have lost it. However, such cybernetics could also be used for improving the performance of perfectly functional, for example by adding heads up displays over regular vision or even camera-like capabilities (for example taking photographs or even covertly recording videos).
- Arms & Legs
Although we have prosthetic limbs today, the prosthetic limbs of a few decades into the future will definitely be far more sophisticated. Likely to be able to actually connect and interact with the rest of the amputee’s body almost – if not actually – as well as a real limb, they will function much better than current replacement limb fare and, with the right exterior, perhaps be almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
There are a whole host of cybernetic implants and augmentations that could be added to the human body. Human Revolution suggests such things as an inbuilt defibrillator capable of restarting the human heart almost 100 times without needing to be recharged as well as implanted rebreathers that filter out toxins from the air and a variety of augmentations geared towards boosting physical capabilities such as strength, speed and reaction times.
- Mobile Phones
Just give it time; soon our smartphones will be as much a part of our bodies as ours hands (be they cybernetic or otherwise). Although it would be undeniably convenient to do everything we can do with smartphones hands free, be wary: the Futurama episode about the EyePhone could easily come true. Perhaps it might be better to go out and buy business laptops instead of trying to it all from the comfort of your own brain.