As the world of technology is set to go places, we are witnessing accomplishments that could only be featured in science fiction before. One of such feat is Human Augmentation. Since human capabilities are already extensively dependent on machines, the need to add an augmentation layer to human skills or, at the least, humanize interactions between them has risen. Hence, the growing attention toward technologies like implantables, injectables, exoskeletons, biometrics, brain-computer interfaces, Augmented and Virtual reality (AR/VR), wearables, and smart devices.
The concept of Augmented Humanity can be seen as “technology-enabled humans” who can perform tasks at levels they would be unable to reach without technology. Other common names for the field of Human Augmentation are “cyborgization” and “Human 2.0,” as they enable cognitive and physical improvements as a part of the human body. It not only increases but is paving the way for creating new unimaginable human skills. This field of technology can prove to be a catalyst bringing massive changes to our society and lifestyle at a fundamental level and a vast business opportunity for emerging as well as existing tech businesses to become an intercessor between people and this ever-so-exciting technology. Therefore, it would be wise not to hang back and leverage the first mover’s advantage in this upcoming market.
“Augmented reality will drive all things like chat, social networking, photos, videos, organizing data, modeling, painting, motion capture, and visual programming. Every form of computing will be combined together and unified in a single platform.”
Smart Glasses and Contact Lenses
The vision sector has been one of the few industries witnessing the benefits of human augmentation innovations. The most common human augmentation tech application in this industry is that of smart glasses and lenses. This technology aims to make vision more accessible for visually impaired and blind people. There are startups like Envision and even established companies like Google that are in the process of building software that enable you to reply to messages, attend a call, listen to music, and command voice assistants using their smart glasses.
Besides that, for the visually impaired, you can also find practical applications of smart glasses and lenses in businesses. For example, employees can use these glasses in workplaces, from factories to stockrooms. Using these, they can receive information and instructions through sight paired with hearing.
Teslasuit is a wearable full-body haptic technology that helps create a far more immersive experience than your VR/ AR devices. This intelligent suit aims to recreate life touch, simulate real-life feelings and sensations, record your movements and positions, provide haptic feedback on the visual simulation, build muscle memory, deep learning environments, and autocorrect techniques. The suit employs Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS), a motion capture system, and sensors. This tech, therefore, will help you make your AR/VR and flat-screen experience far more realistic and enveloping.
As a result, Tesla suits can be used to make gaming, movie watching, training, animation creation, performance monitoring, and capture and human factor testing (research, data analysis) experiences far more efficient than in the past.
“Buzz” Wristband- Smart Hearing Aid
It is another wearable human augmentation device that resembles a wristwatch and mimics the ear’s cochlea. This wristband called Buzz turns sounds into vibration patterns and transmits them via the nervous system to the brain. This device has created a unique sensory channel reaching the brain’s auditory processing center.
It focuses on sending data streams to your brain through haptic feedback, that is, the sense of touch using over 4 billion patterns of vibrations on the skin. The band-buzz can also be used by one who doesn’t have a hearing impairment. It can be used in various modes where you can adjust unnecessary background noise, filter out snoring noises during sleep while still getting alerts during emergency sounds like- the siren or smoke alarms, and even use music mode where you can feel the pulse of the beat and experience nuances of the melody.
Bioprinting is a type of 3D printing or an additive manufacturing process that prints an object layer-by-layer using a digital file as a blueprint. But unlike standard 3D printing, bioprinters print with biomaterials and cells and create organ-like structures allowing living cells to multiply. Moreover, this relatively new technology has a promising future in various industries like medicine and cosmetics.
In brief, bioprinting can be used in the area of:
Drug development: Bioprinted tissues can be used instead of living subjects during the early stages to determine a drug candidate’s efficacy. This can help reduce research costs and the amount of time required for results.
Wound healing: Researchers can now work with tissue-specific bio-inks like artificial skin cells, hepatocytes, and neurons. They will soon use these models for therapeutic procedures like skin grafts, bone bandages for combat wounds, and even plastic surgery.
Artificial organs: One of the most impactful possibilities is that of artificial organs. With bioprinters able to print organs, hospitals would no longer have to keep their patients on waiting lists and free them from the hassle of a worrisome search for a donor.
Language Translator Earbuds
These earphones are app-connected and translate human speech into multiple languages helping people converse without language barriers. Rigged with a full suite of voice translation solutions, advanced speech recognition, and machine translation, users can be a part of professional multilingual conversations across various industries like business, hospitality, education, and events. To work this system, you must download an app where all the translation takes place. You can employ three modes after connecting multiple earbuds via BlueTooth.
These three modes are converse mode, lecture mode, and listen mode.
These modes allow you to choose languages and dialects, create a one-way system to translate your speech, stream it through your smartphone’s speaker in other languages, listen to a language of your choice, and pipe it into your earpiece.
The function of these gloves is just as exciting as they sound. Super gloves are a unique technology that extends power in your hands. An example of these gloves is RoboGlove, created by General Motors. These gloves can help you reduce your grasping fatigue in tasks requiring prolonged repetition of grasping efforts. As a result, they have the aptness to help you prevent injuries, speed recovery from injuries, and increase productivity in demanding work environments. In addition, the sensors placed on the glove’s fingertips give wearer feedback that lets you know what they’re sensing. Undoubtedly, Supergloves have a great future in manufacturing facilities as you can perform various activities with increased abilities.
The HoloLens is a display unit that can be mounted on your head or crown with a cushioned inner headband allowing you to fit it right in front of your eyes. This technology is supported by optical sensors, advanced optics, and holographic processing. This HoloLens can display information in holographic form, blend it with the real world, or even simulate a virtual world. This set has an HD camera, several microphones, depth cameras, an ambient light sensor, and Microsoft’s custom “Holographic Processing Unit.” All these features combined help the system track objects and walls in a room, pick up hand motions since the spatial orientation of the unit in the room and blend holograms into the environment.
HoloLens can be used excellently in the education, design, and gaming sectors. People can employ holograms to incorporate their ideas into real-world objects, display the physics of holography and transcend the potential of Augmented Reality.
Physical and Cognitive Human Augmentation will likely unfurl exciting improvements in multiple human capabilities in the coming years. You can safely expect these mature technologies to bring new consumerization effects in the market, improved business environment, security, regulatory compliance, social and ethical reconditioning, and a divergent impact on long-term mental and physical health.
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