Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The first Cyborg

Hi guys, I'm proud to present you a very interesting news...
It's about a man that was born with a genetic anomaly...
Without further ado, here is the news:

Neil Harbisson (27 July 1982) is a Catalan raised, Northern Ireland born artist, musician and performer best known for his self-extended ability to hear colours. In 2004 he became the first person in the world to wear an eyeborg. The inclusion of the eyeborg on his passport photo has been claimed by some to be official recognition of Harbisson as a cyborg. Color and the use of technology as an extension of the performer, and not as part of the performance, are the central themes in Harbisson's work. In 2010, he founded the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization to help humans become cyborgs.

Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, a condition that only allows him to see in black and white. He grew up in Mataró (Spain) where he studied music, dance and drama at various schools.He began to compose piano pieces at the age of 11. At school, classmates thought he was just being lazy every time he asked one of them to pass the red paint in an art class, or pick out a blue pen. He dressed exclusively in black and white. "What was the point in wearing something I couldn't appreciate?" he asks. At the age of 16 he started studying Fine Art at Institut Alexandre Satorras, where he was given special permission to use only black, white and gray colors in his works. Harbisson's early works are all in black and white.

In October 2003 in his second year at Dartington College of Arts, Harbisson attended a lecture on cybernetics, particularly on sensory extensions via cybernetics, given by Adam Montandon, a Plymouth University student. Neil found this of immense interest and at the end of the lecture he went up to Adam to explain his condition. From that moment they started working on the eyeborg project.
The eyeborg works with a head mounted camera that picks up the colors directly in front of a person, and converts them in real-time into sound waves.Neil memorised the frequencies related to each colour: high frequency hues are high-pitched, while low frequency hues sound bolder. In Vienna, they co-presented their Eyeborg project, one of more than 400 entries from 29 different countries, and won the Europrix Award in Content Tools and Interface Design (2004), as well as the Innovation Award (Submerge, Bristol 2004).
In 2007, while hitch-hiking around Europe, Harbisson met Peter Kese in Ljubljana, a software developer from Kranj, Slovenia. Kese offered to develop the eyeborg even further so that Harbisson could perceive color saturation and not only color hues. After a few weeks he had developed a new eyeborg model that allowed Harbisson to perceive up to 360 different hues through microtones and saturation through different volume levels.
Matias Lizana, a student from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya is currently developing the eyeborg into a small chip as part of his final year project. The new chip will allow Harbisson to hear colours in stereo and to implant the eyeborg in his forehead.

Here is a video, an interview: (Sorry, but I've only found it in Spanish)

Thank you everyone, Greetings.

1 comment:

Sònia Turmo said...

That was incredible!! I love scientific discoveries which make a person's life easier! And he grew up in Mataró. I wonder why he has been been on the news here in Catalonia. Or at least I had never heard of cybords before.
Anyway, thank you very much Joel for sharing it with us here in the blog.