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Color blind artist is able to 'hear' colors


Posted on Thursday, 20 March, 2014 | Comment icon 10 comments

Neil Harbisson with his color-sensing device. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Moon Ribas
Neil Harbisson has had a special 'eyeborg' device implanted in to his skull that can interpret colors.
Despite having only ever viewed the world in black and white due to a rare form of color blindness, Harbisson has been able to perceive color using a special device that produces unique vibrations to represent the colors in whatever he is looking at.

Now the 31-year-old artist has taken this one step further by having a special device implanted directly in to his skull which allows him to perceive a more intricate and wider range of colors. The "eyeborg" device features a camera on one end and an audio speaker on the other.
Remarkably, the device is not only able to interpret images around him but can also receive wireless signals so that he can effectively perceive images from a mobile phone without even looking at them. It may even be possible in the future for two people with the implants to communicate directly.

"This announcement is not the launch of a new product and it is not the presentation of new technology - it is the presentation of a new body part that will allow us to extend our senses in unimaginable ways," he said.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (10)

Tags: Blind, Implant, Neil Harbisson

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Eldorado on 20 March, 2014, 13:56
His days of eating yellow snow are over! Yay!
Comment icon #2 Posted by Ryu on 20 March, 2014, 15:08
Sadly the article explains practically nothing about how the device works. How does one "hear" a color if color is solely dependent on light waves? Does the man actually "see" the colors or is he just being told, via a speaker, what color he is looking at?
Comment icon #3 Posted by taniwha on 20 March, 2014, 16:45
Sadly the article explains practically nothing about how the device works. How does one "hear" a color if color is solely dependent on light waves? Does the man actually "see" the colors or is he just being told, via a speaker, what color he is looking at? Some people "see" music even though they are sound waves could this be related?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Junior Chubb on 20 March, 2014, 17:53
I was a bit disappointed after the article title that a device helps him. Nevertheless electronics interacting with the human senses is the future (and amazing he has been using this for 10 years) for a lot of people with physical debilitations and eventually will eventually enhance the senses of the norm. Unfortunately looking at the colour mismatch of his jacket and shirt I would guess the device does not work...
Comment icon #5 Posted by theotherguy on 20 March, 2014, 20:02
I think it induces synesthesia. No idea how that would work, though.
Comment icon #6 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 21 March, 2014, 12:50
His days of eating yellow snow are over! Yay! You'd think being color blind wouldn't affect his tastebuds though. Eww.
Comment icon #7 Posted by highdesert50 on 21 March, 2014, 15:32
I once had a color-blind art instructor. Sometimes obstacles become the crucible events that lead to greatness. He was a brilliant sculptor.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Still Waters on 9 November, 2014, 15:23
I was just coming to post this and found this thread. This guy seems to be making the news again, in the latest article there's a video of him explaining how he's able to hear colors - https://uk.news.yaho...48.html#Fxwu7yy
Comment icon #9 Posted by third_eye on 9 November, 2014, 17:56
Imagine watching those latest MTV videos ~
Comment icon #10 Posted by taniwha on 10 November, 2014, 9:27
He infact has a very colourful personality as demonstrated in this entertaining TED talk...


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