The Apple Watch and our cyborg destiny

“My first week of wearing the Apple Watch has transformed my thinking about the direction of mobile and wearable computing,” Mike Elgan writes for Computerworld.

“It has become clear to me that we’re all becoming cyborgs,” Elgan writes. “A cyborg is a person whose normal human abilities are enhanced or magnified by technology. This is different from a person who uses technology as a tool.”

“While becoming a cyborg sounds unappealing, it’s actually going to boost health, happiness and prosperity,” Elgan writes. “In my week of wearing the Apple Watch, I have experienced three epiphanies about what the wearable revolution has in store for all of us. Here’s what I’ve realized.”

• Spontaneous knowledge
• The personal-area network
• The joy of becoming a cyborg

Elgan writes, “Resistance is futile, but only because the wearable revolution will be far better than we ever imagined.”

The three bullet points above discussed in detail in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re currently on Day 18 with Apple Watch and we say “Bring it on!”

13 Comments

  1. The article says ‘People don’t want invasive implants and won’t accept them.’, but I’m not sure. If you go deaf, you’d want an implant to restore your hearing. Then, when your hearing is better than everyone else’s, they will see a benefit. Firstly because it’s just helpful. Secondly because it’ll give you advantages at some kinds of work, you’ll have skills you can sell. Looking at the fashion for tattoos and piercings show there would at least be a sub culture.

    It will catch on. And when it’s seamless, invisible and just plain better, who wouldn’t want it? Eventually, not having it will leave you disadvantaged. Natural will be the new disability.

    I can’t easily see how we don’t follow that path.

    1. Well, the key reason would be because it’s not possible — that is, because mechanical/electronic “hearing” can’t be better than natural hearing, and so on. The tech/bio interface/interchange will be far more difficult than people think.

      1. Do we know that?
        The brain cannot learn to accept new input from one of its senses? Don’t babies go through precisely that process, where the brain learns to sort and interpret the sensory information? Or is the brain hard wired to match precisely the range of information hardwired into the sensory system in question?

        What about people who see some sounds or ‘hear’ light. This is a known medical phenomenon and implies much flexibility that could be tapped.

        Even if not, the information could be encoded in another way. Infra red goggles do this, they translate infra red, which we cannot see, into the visible range, which we can. By doing this in a well designed way, one could understand that what one was hearing or seeing was coming from higher or lower in the spectrum.

        I think your objection is just the sort where someone has an inspired idea and says ‘yes, but…’

          1. Retinal implants already exist to partially restore eyesight. Cochlear implants already exist to partially restore human hearing. Since these devices are computers, Moore’s Law applies. There will be a day when these retinal implants allow for better vision than 20/20, vision that can see into the infra-red and ultra-violet and let you experience colors you have never seen before. There will be a day when cochlear implants allow you to have hearing as sensitive as a cat’s. At that point, people will opt to get these implants and once some people do, then you will have to as well, otherwise you can’t compete or participate.

            1. All I’m saying is that I don’t expect the human brain or body to accept superpowers easily. Will the brain allow for the processing of 20/0.5 vision? Will the skeletal system allow for the inertia of one ton exoskeletons throwing around two ton shipping containers? I think this will be a much harder row to hoe than sci-fi writers/enthusiasts imagine. I think it’s likely impossible as it is being currently envisioned.

    2. My mother is diabetic and is looking into getting a chip implanted that will monitor her blood sugar every 5 minutes and send the information to her iPhone.

      And don’t think this concept begins and ends with diabetes. All of us could benefit from having advanced sensors inside our bodies sending information to our watches and smartphones. These things will be able to tell you you’re going to have a heart attack 10 minutes before you feel the symptoms. These things will be able to tell you that you have cancer long before it would show up on an MRI. All of us will have these types of sensors inside us in 10-20 years. It will be considered foolish not to.

    1. There are already cyborgs among us. Anyone with a cochlear implant to restore hearing is a cyborg. Anyone who has had their vision partially restored by implants in their retinas is a cyborg. Anyone with a chip inside their arm that monitors their blood sugar is a cyborg. And on and on and on. Just because they’re not walking around saying DESTROY ALL HUMANS YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED doesn’t mean they aren’t cyborgs.

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