TECH

Neil Harbisson, The World's First Cyborg Hears Colours

08/05/2012 13:25 | Updated 08 July 2012

We all joke that The Voice judge will.i.am looks and behaves like a cyborg*. But there is a real cyborg in our midst and his name is Neil Harbisson.

Harbisson is the first many to confirmed as a government-endorsed cyborg, and was photographed here on a recent trip to Brazil.

Born with achromatopsia, or colour-blindness, Harbisson could only can see in black and white until he was fitted with the eye-borg developed by the UK's HMC Interactive.

The eye-borg, sits on Harbisson's head, directly in front of his gaze and works by converting colours into soundwaves in realtime.

A new cyber eye has joined the eye-borg on the market, this time, addressing those with no sight at all.

Robin Millar, 60 and Chris James, 54, were part of a clinical trial at Oxford University, funded by the National Institute of Health Research which cured their retinitis pigmentosa. The rare hereditary condition causes the slow deterioration of the cells in the retina which detect light.

Having their eyes replaced by the man-made devices gave them full sight once more.

*No? Not all of us? Is it just me?

Neil Harbisson, Cyborg
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