What is our cybernetic future? Well, for starters, we have to consider our cybernetic present. Billions of modern humans are technologically augmented in some way, shape or form. Is there a tiny computer strapped to your wrist or plugged into your ears? Do artificial lenses help you see? We already live in a cybernetic age, and it's not a trend I see us abandoning anytime soon.
The Borg from "Star Trek" represent a nightmarish vision of the cyborg, embodying the fear that our technology will twist us into a grotesque and machinelike existence. And who knows? Maybe it will. Maybe it has already. But the development of epidermal electronic systems represents a bright point in our steady march toward the dawning of the man-machine. Increasingly, we force the technological world to conform to human physiology, human form and human life. The cyborg of the future, then, becomes a creature in which humanity is augmented rather than diminished.
Of course, not every human tendency demands mechanical enrichment -- but that's a different nightmare altogether.
- American Chemical Society. "New 'electronic skin' patches monitor health wirelessly."EurekAlert! March 26, 2012. (June 4, 2012) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-03/acs-ns030612.php
- Gonzalez, Robert T. "Breakthrough: Electronic circuits that are integrated with your skin." Io9. Aug. 11, 2011. (June 4, 2012) http://io9.com/5830071/breakthrough-electronic-circuits-that-are-integrated-into-your-skin
- Hamzelou, Jessica. "Electronic 'tattoos' to monitor vital signs." New Scientist. Aug. 11, 2011. (June 4, 2012) http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20787-electronic-tattoos-to-monitor-vital-signs.html
- Lemelson-MIT Program. "Materials scientist and entrepreneur Dr. John Rogers awarded $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize."EurekAlert! June 14, 2011. (June 4, 2012) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-06/lp-msa061311.php
- MC10 Incorporated. (June 4, 2012) http://mc10inc.com/
- Ornes, Stephen. "Electronic Skin." Science News for Kids. Jan 18, 2012. (June 4, 2012) http://rogers.matse.illinois.edu/files/2012/eessciencenewsforkids.pdf
- University of California, San Diego. "Tattoo-like devices for wireless pregnancy monitoring." EurekAlert! May 9, 2012. (June 4, 2012) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-05/uoc--tdf050912.php
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Smart skin: Electronics that stick and stretch like a temporary tattoo." EurekAlert! Aug. 11, 2011. (June 4, 2012) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-08/uoia-sse080511.php