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Meet the World’s First Cyborg

Like me, perhaps the first thing you think of when someone says Cyborg is the famous Star Trek Next Generation cyborgs simply called “The Borg”. Brought into the popular series and then made into a movie, The Borg were on a mission to “assimilate” all creatures into their collective. It didn’t help matters out that they used a catch phrase either: “Resistance is futile” or “You will be assimilated”. Even Captain Pickard was turned into “Locutus”.

Not all Cyborgs are as hideous as Locutus. Some are actually quite easy on the eyes. Take “Seven of Nine”  from Star Trek Voyager(Did ya’ll really think I wouldn’t mention Seven of Nine?) She was once a Borg and was saved but for some reason kept some of the hardware and emotionless speaking. I would not Google Jeri Ryan or Seven of Nine at work fellas.

Somewhere between Locutus and Seven of Nine, actually a long way away from Seven of Nine is Neil Harbisson. British born and color blind he has become the world’s first cyborg by having a camera drilled into the back of his head that will allow him to interpret colors that he has never seen before. neil has transformed the technology into an art form as well. A concert pianist as well as trained fine artist, he now uses his cyborg eye to interpret color and use the frequencies the camera translates the color to play music on his piano. Neil has become quite an accomplished artist.

The camera is implanted into Neil’s the rear of his skull:

In 2013 the antenna was osseointegrated inside his skull in order to remove constant pressure created by the chip between his bone and skin. The new antenna implant which now sprouts from within his occipital bone, includes bluetooth connection which allows him to receive colours from other people’s cameras, as well as receive phone calls directly into his head.

Neil is more commonly known as an “Eyeborg” and looks shockingly like an insect with his antennae. The effort and technology Neil has spent on the implant has also earned him a the world’s first Cyborg Passport from the UK so that he could travel via airlines without getting harassed at airport security.With the wireless connection implanted into his head Neil can also receive phone calls and pictures wirelessly to his brain but admits he has a fear of eventually being hacked. Future safety measures are being worked on to avoid this threat.

At first glance Neil looks absolutely ridicules. But after reading his story, his passion and commitment to art, technology, and being the first color blind man to interpret color, the antennae becomes less comical and makes Neil more than just a Cyborg.


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