Poll: Would you go full cyborg?

How long before wearable tech becomes embeddable tech? Would you take the plunge?

Credits (clockwise from top left): Georgia Institute of Technology; Frank Wojciechowski; Alternative Limb Project; Geoffrey Morrison.

It's only a matter of time, really. Google Glass, Epson's Movierio , the Oculus Rift , and similar technologies are at the cutting edge of wearable technologies. Sci-fi has certainly given us a glimpse at the potential future: internal links to the Internet, augmented eyesight and hearing, perhaps even full cybernetic bodies to house our minds.

We'll have the technology, we will build it. The question is, presuming it's safe, would you embed yourself with technology?

Yes, yes, the "presuming it's safe" part is huge; after all, half the sci-fi that deals with this kind of thing, deals with the idea that it isn't safe.

Even just 20 years ago, the idea of a smartphone of the size and power of the current crop was pure sci-fi. Even 10 years ago, Google Glass was pure imagination. Electronics get smaller, that is not just constant, but the acceleration is nearly constant. As in, they're getting smaller and more powerful, faster.

So allow me to stretch my sci-fi side a bit, and hypothesize a few "what ifs."

How about a mental connection to the Internet? Perhaps not "Matrix"-style, but the ability to access the Web, e-mail, and so forth without a device, perhaps visualized through ocular implants.

Forget glasses, or binoculars, how about augmented eyes that let you see far in the distance, or in other wavelengths of light? It certainly would make driving at night safer.

Perfect hearing , perhaps with a built-in music player?

How about the ability to control or regulate your metabolism? An app for that, perhaps?

Will it be possible, someday, to have fully electronic bodies that we download into when our bags of meat are no longer viable?

This is pretty basic sci-fi stuff. Where does our humanity end when electronics take over? Will this start to happen in our lifetimes? Certainly . Will it just be for amusement and enhancement? No.

How about prosthetic replacement limbs that function as delicately and precisely as the organic variety? Now that's a worthy use. Maybe replacement eyes and ears as good as the stock parts -- or even better?

For most of us, these bionic enhancements will be a option, an upgrade. So the question is, if they're safe, how much, and what (if any) would you choose?


Got a question for Geoff? First, check out all the other articles he's written on topics like HDMI cables , LED LCD vs. plasma , Active vs Passive 3D , and more. Still have a question? Send him an e-mail! He won't tell you what TV to buy, but he might use your letter in a future article. You can also send him a message on Twitter: @TechWriterGeoff.

 

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