Real life cyborgs - The Eyeborg: TEDxToronto

EyeborgThis week we’re bringing you the top five coolest tech talks from TEDxToronto, an annual showcase of innovative and provoking talks, with this year’s theme of ‘redefinition.’ Yesterday we introduced you to Ariel Garten who began creating thought controlled computing art installations with peers and later turned it into a career. Today we’ve got some real-life sci-fi.

Rob Spence accidentally shot his eye out with a shotgun when he was a kid. Now a filmmaker, he’s replaced it with a prosthetic camera eye. Hailed by Time Magazine as being one of the world’s best inventions in 2009, Rob’s ‘Eyeborg’ is recording the world from a new vantage. But Rob’s TEDxToronto talk didn’t focus solely on his camera eye (which he had hooked up to a feed so the audience could see what he was recording!). He talked about how the technology to replace entire body parts already exists – and how humans becoming cyborgs is no longer a fantasy reserved for sci-fi movies.

Technology is making prosthetics more real by connecting with our brains and essentially taking on human characteristics that may even be stronger than our natural body parts. This ties into yesterday’s featured talk on thought controlled computing by Ariel Garten. Prosthetic body parts are taking on lifelike qualities, paving huge advancements for the medical world. But what sets Rob’s talk apart is it bordered on the scary side of technology by asking what happens if people choose to become cyborgs?  Would you ever choose to replace part of your body with technology if given the chance? Are we really working towards becoming half robot by choice?

If you’re interested in the sci-fi element of technology you’re in luck – futuristic concepts are becoming realities everyday! They’re also changing the medical landscape. Check out Bionik Labs, a startup company headed by Ryerson University students Michal Prywata & Thiago Caires that is building prosthetics controlled by nerves. Mashing up medicine, engineering, and business can lead to careers worthy of the Space Network.

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