Enhanced hearing and visual aids, which interpret signals outside the human perceptual range, are a development we might reasonably expect in the near future. These medical technologies could, conceivably be used as tools for human enhancement and may offer new frameworks through which to understand the more traditional ways we choose to interact with Augmented Reality (AR).
AR has formally been concerned with the enhancement of the visual senses by overlaying information rich environments and making them visible through the use of an external device. But often the interface interferes. This presentation will question how new advances in embedded medical technologies offer the possibility of a fully, technologically enhanced, human sensorium.
Cochlear implants (or ‘bionic ears’) are already used by nearly two hundred thousand people worldwide, in addition artificial retinas offer a glimpse at the technologies that could provide new opportunities for designers developing the future interfaces that allow for us to engage with augmented realities.
These technologies offer a range of possibilities for altering human phenomenological awareness to degrees that have been commonly associated with drugs (either medical or recreational). This, naturally, raises some serious moral, ethical and legal challenges.
This fast-paced presentation will summarise some of the ways in which artists have been at the forefront of the debates surrounding these technologies.
# How can designers draw inspiration from nature when developing new AR technologies?