CNN reports that two veterans of the ongoing Iraq War, both with double amputations above the knee, have been fitted with prosthetic legs that communicate with each other via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth receivers attached to each ankle allow the left leg to know what the right leg doeth, and vice versa. The wearer applies force with their thigh muscles to get the legs going and slow them down, but the legs themselves keep pace with each other via built-in motors. According to Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Bell (one of the two soldiers), “Unfortunately, sometimes I don’t know those reactions, I don’t know what I’m doing to make it react. So sometimes the leg kicks harder than I want it to, or farther, and then I start perpetuating, and I start moving faster than I really want to.” Hey, it’s new technology, so of course it’s going to have a few bugs.
Joe Duck wants to see this extended to more pervasive human improvement:
I find it frustrating that people are on the one hand very comfortable supporting great technologies like this for those with disabilities, but as soon as somebody suggests we should also use technology to enhance our own “normal” and feeble abilities people seem to get worried and object. There will be an inevitable trend to enhancing our lives using technologies we place in our bodies, and this is nothing to fear. We’ve used *external* technologies for many years (e.g. spectacles) and many people already use many internal high tech devices (heart stints).
So, bring on the brain chips!
The way our society is evolving towards becoming a collection of couch potatoes, we may all need bionic butts instead.
You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.