Implanted Future and the Eye PrototypeSpeculative Design
The future of transhumanism is in the connections.
The direction I have settled on with the Transhumanism project revolves around these central conditions:
- By 2050, transhumanism is widely accepted and strides have been made in bringing the technology into the public sphere. The public has moved beyond the initial reactionary backlash and the technology has been integrated more or less smoothly
- The technology has within itself incorporated aspects of the internet of things. The devices, in the form of implants and prostheses, reasonably affordable and available on an open market, are capable of accessing the internet and communicating with other devices. This extends beyond other implants and into computer systems as well as common household objects and appliances.
The project focuses on how communication and media have changed in a world more interconnected than ever, with technology which has ostensibly become a part of our bodies expanding not only the possibilities but also the risks.
The prototype that summarises this reality the best is the Ocular OS-powered eye implant.
Ocular is a company inside my design fiction that specialises in creating operating systems for bionic eyes which, on top of replicating and enhancing the function of biological eyes, carries out all the functions of a computer. The eye can connect to the internet, run applications, record video and take photos. It can make calls (It’s an eye-phone. Get it?) and connect to other devices on the network.
The eye is a versatile and universal tool that I see (HA) as a natural progression of the smartphone. It uses a version of AR tech to draw interactive interfaces inside the user’s field of vision and is controlled using small hand-gestures (emphasis on ‘small’, these are not minority report-level workouts) or a virtual keyboard.
The eye can also interface with AR-enabled objects, such as newspapers. In fact, a newspaper printout is arguably the most important diegetic prototype in the project.
Of course, this prototype brings with itself its own questions. The meaning of privacy and security is inevitably altered when there is a possibility that someone else can see through your eyes. The eye being a permanent fixture of the user’s body, it opens up new avenues for threats. Attacks on computer systems now become synonymous with attacks on people and digital security becomes more crucial than ever. This is to say nothing of what a simple technical failure can mean in the wrong place at the wrong time, and how temporarily losing your eyesight or control over your limbs becomes a mundane event.