DUBAI: A self-proclaimed “cyborg” who says technology has helped him with his colorblindness has landed in Dubai to speak at the World Government Summit on Tuesday.
Born with a rare disease that only allows him to see in shades of gray, Neil Harbisson went ahead with a procedure that saw an antenna implanted into his skull that helps him see colors.
The antenna, which has a wireless camera connected to a wireless sound vibration implant in his skull, enables remote communication – as well as the transmission of images, sound or video.
The Catalan-raised British-born artist said the technology allows him to “feel and hear colors as audible vibrations inside his head” – and that includes the colors that cannot be seen by anyone through the naked eye.
The antenna “allows me to extend my perception of reality beyond the visual spectrum,” Harbisson explained.
“I can sense infrared and ultraviolet, and I also have an Internet connection in my head that allows me to receive colors from other parts of the world, or connect to satellite so I can send colors from space,” he said in an interview with UAE state-run news agency WAM at the World Government Summit.
His connection to the Internet also allows the reception of colors and images from all over the world. He has given permission to five friends across each continent to transmit colors, images, videos and sounds directly into his head via satellite.
Dubai’s World Government Summit has focused a lot of presentations on robotics and technology for the future.
And Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an honorary speech on Sunday that technology has the power to reduce poverty and bring about “inclusive growth for everyone.”