logo Vivek Asrani
March 11, 2021
10 Min Read

12 Practical Examples of Human Augmentation in Everyday Life
logo Vivek Asrani
March 11, 2021 | 10 Min Read

12 Practical Examples of Human Augmentation in Everyday Life

Can you guess the person in the cinematic world that overcame all odds and utilized his knowledge and expertise with technology to overcome his disabilities and emerge as an extraordinary individual?

Yes, that person is none other than Tony Stark, the Iron Man of the Avengers superhero saga.

Apart from the fact that this particular character was a fantastic representation of IoT's cinematic employment, another area where Tony Stark excelled was at human augmentation.

With the help of extensive human augmentation technology, Tony Stark proved that there is a cure for disabilities and an opportunity that enables people to upgrade themselves and put their disabilities at rest genuinely. So yes, yours truly Tony Stark's changeover to Iron Man is a pretty cool example of human augmentation.

Let’s now look at the definition of human augmentation.

What is Human Augmentation?

Human Augmentation

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Due to the enhancements in technology in the modern era, we have come to a phase in our lives where human augmentation is the next big thing.

In layman's terms, technologies that boost human productivity and enhance or restore the human body’s capabilities or mind in the area of computing can be termed human augmentation. 

Just like Iron man, another great cinematic example of human augmentation technology is Robocop.

The primary objective of human augmentation is to provide cognitive and physical enhancements in the human experience.

While the concept seems to be vague in the practical world, due to the advancements in technology, we are seeing a drastic growth in various areas like human health, quality of life, and performance, all this thanks to human augmentation technology.

One of the practical examples of various applications of human augmentation includes miners utilizing wearables to boost workers' safety. Yet another one is adopting data and applications for enhanced learning or new experiences in the form of nanorobotics and performance-enhancing surgery.

Let's now divert our attention to the noteworthy examples of human augmentation in everyday life. 

12 Practical Examples of Human Augmentation in Everyday Life

     I.        Replicating Human Ability

Under this category, the human augmentation technology which restores or replicates mundane human abilities comes into the picture. A good example is hearing aids for the deaf or prosthetic limbs for specially-abled people.

With the help of the replications, you can provide equal opportunities to those who have undergone a life-threatening accident or ailment or the ones who were born with inadequacies facing hindrances to fulfilling their daily tasks. With the help of such devices mentioned below, it provides psychological assistance for its users.

1.   Artificial Limbs

Artificial limbs

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Overview

Whenever a person loses his/her limbs, Naked Prosthetics is a company that assists them by creating custom hand prosthetics for them. It is the first company to provide first finger prosthetics manufacturing to give the users a too high dexterity level. They do it to provide artificial limbs to the concerned person in the form of finger prostheses.

Features

  • Provides four-finger prostheses in the form of artificial limbs: PIPDriver, MCPDriver, ThumbDriver, and GripLock Finger

Price

For pricing details, contact Customer Care at 360-915-9724 or U.S. Toll-Free at 888-977-6693 or email at info@npdevices.com

2. eSight

eSight

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Overview

eSight is a wearable device that is the same as glasses that enable legally blind people to see their environment. The device contains cameras on the front that provide information about the near-eye quality environment and depict it on a screen that sits right in front of the wearers' eyes.

Features

  • Comes with electronic glasses
  • Lifetime software upgrades
  • Customized prescription lens inserts
  • TV Kit and cable splitters
  • Warranty of one year

Price

The price of the Sight 4 is $5,950.

3. 3D Bioprinting

3D Bioprinting

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Overview

3D Bioprinting is creating materials that feel like human tissues like bones, organs, skins, etc., with 3D printing techniques. This human augmentation technology is still in the infancy stage. However, it has loads of potential to completely redefine the medical industry and the way we perceive healthcare.

Features

  • Helps create artificial bones – a regenerative structure for long-term healing
  • Develops 3D printed artificial corneas to replace human donors 
  • Makes synthetic corneas to use in surgery for cataracts and other sight complications
  • Creates 3D printed fully-vascularized heart with the help of fat tissue cells of the donor
  • Prints skin cells straight on a burn wound

Price

You can get 3D Bioprinting done by getting a good quality 3D Bioprinter at a minimum price of $20,000.

4. Cochlear Fix

Cochlear fix

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Overview

Cochlear is the first company to develop a product that aids in hearing without needing any external hearing device to be worn.

Features

  • Gives you the ability to hear speech without needing visual cues like reading lips
  • Recognition of day-to-day environmental sounds
  • Gives you the ability to listen in a noisy environment
  • Let's you find where the sounds are coming from
  • Gives you the chance to hear television programs, music, and telephone conversations

Price

For pricing details, call +91 20 67082935 or send an email at cincustomerservice@cochlear.com.  

II.      Supplementing Human Ability 

5. Plastron

Plastron

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Overview

Plastron or exoskeletons are employed within the construction industry. These exosuits are metal frameworks that get fitted with motorized muscles to multiply the wearer's strength. Also known as exoskeletons, Plastrons' metal framework somewhat replicates the wearer's internal skeletal structure. This suit makes lifted objects feel much lighter in weight. This helps in reducing injuries and enhancing compliance.

Features

  • Wearable devices that work in conjunction with the user
  • Placed on the user's body and act as amplifiers that augment, reinforce, or restore human performance
  • Made out of rigid materials like metal, carbon fiber, or entirely out of soft and elastic parts
  • Can be powered and equipped with sensors and actuators; alternatively, they can even be entirely passive
  • Can be mobile or fixed/suspended (particularly for rehabilitation or teleoperation)

Price

Approximately $45,000 per exoskeleton (The cost driver is based on quantity)

6. Mixed Reality Smart Glasses

Mixed Reality Smart Glasses

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Overview

With the advancement of technology today, mixed reality Smart Glasses have become a new reality device. It offers the most comfortable and immersive diverse reality experience that you can ever get. It employs industry-leading solutions to deliver in quick turnaround time. All of this is enhanced by the security, reliability, and scalability of cloud and A.I. services from Microsoft.

Features

  • Utilizes immersive technology, which helps you see holograms at once through the significantly increased field of view.
  • Aids in reading text and viewing intricate details on 3D images in a hassle-free manner with the help of industry-leading resolution
  • You can wear it for a pretty long time
  • Comes with a dial-in fit system that is designed for extended use
  • Keep the glasses on – the headset slides right over them
  • If you wish to move out of virtual reality, flip the visor and get back to the real world
  • Gives you the scope to touch, grasp, and move holograms that seems natural – a lot like real objects
  • Move freely with no wires or external packs to get in the way
  • Comes with a headset which is a self-contained computer with Wi-Fi connectivity which means everything you need goes with you while you work

Price

$3,500

7. Translation Tool

Translation Tool

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Overview

Here's one of the highest quality translation tools available for professionals from all backgrounds. You can use this tool from training to travel, groups to solo; this translation tool enables you to have smooth communication without any language barriers.

Features

  • Available in black and wine red colors
  • Comes with a light and ergonomic design for comfortable wearing
  • Comprises of over-the-ear form factor that aids in hygienic sharing and uncompromised antenna strength
  • Consists of three translation modes: listen, lecture, and converse
  • Translates in total 20 different languages and 42 dialects, including English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Greek, Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Polish, Chinese Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Hebrew, Cantonese, Thai, Dutch, and Vietnamese
  • Comes with continuous and Push-To-Talk translation settings
  • Compatible with iOS and Android app
  • Battery life lasts for a maximum of 6 hours
  • Comes with two ambassador units, a carrying bag, dual micro-USB charging cables, and a user manual

Price

$179

Neuralink

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Overview

Elon Musk recently announced a breakthrough in his endeavor to sync the human brain with artificial intelligence. During a live-streaming demonstration involving farm animals and a stage, Musk said his company Neuralink had created a self-contained neural implant that can wirelessly transmit comprehensive brain activity without needing any external hardware help. The main objective behind creating such a device is to sync up the human brain with A.I., which will ensure humans control computers, prosthetic limbs, and other machines using only their thoughts.

Features

  • You can use it to provide a visual prosthesis for people having retinal injury or blindness as a result of eye injury
  • Plug in a camera directly into the visual cortex and simulate a large number of electrodes to recreate a visual image
  • Telepathy is the next frontier for Neuralink
  • Neuralink device can shed light on various functions of the brain in the same way oscilloscopes provide visual information of printed circuit boards (PCBs)
  • Get nostalgia on demand and even cure cognitive disorders like dementia
  • Helps you to predict disease in future
  • Manage and cure mental illnesses

Price

A Neuralink chip costs $10-20 million.

III.         Exceeding Human Ability

This section of human augmentation enables humans to exceed normal abilities. For example, flying is considered to be an add-on activity that transcends human ability.

This is one of the most exciting forms of human augmentation. The reason being, it consists of some of the best futuristic examples (which are quite a few, to say the least!)

The majority of the time, you will see its current application revolving around special use cases like the military or specific industries.

Such augmentations have become a possibility and could become a new normal in the coming times.

9. Artificial Blood Cell

Artificial Blood Cell

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Overview

Since the early 1980's we have seen human blood substitutes in the pipeline. However, due to a combination of political and scientific reasons, there was none available in either Europe or the U.S. There is still ongoing research to develop platelet substitutes in pre-clinical animal testing. Currently, the only clinical product in practice is saline solutions to expand blood pressure to maintain blood pressure and enable red cells to keep working and regenerating. These artificial blood cells can come in handy during medical emergencies in saving the lives of patients.

Features

  • Helps in preventing complications of red blood transfusion like immune reactions to blood, and risk of infections
  • With the increase in the number of surgeries, the number of patients needing blood has gone up; this is where artificial blood cell can come in handy
  • In remote areas or emergencies, artificial blood cells can save lives since it is sterile and no blood type matching is needed
  • Artificial blood cells can potentially deliver oxygen at a quick pace than real blood during an emergency and may minimize injury to the tissue, specifically during a heart attack
  • It can come in handy for patients suffering from blood disorders requiring long-term blood transfusions like patients with Myelodysplastic syndrome (a type of cancer that prevents immature red cells in the bone marrow from maturing) and Aplastic anemia (a condition where the bone marrow does not produce adequate new blood cells)
  • Artificial blood cell might be the only option for certain ethnic and religious groups of people having concerns over human blood-derived products

Price

$1000

10. Artificial Chip

Artificial Chip

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Overview

An artificial chip known as Optogenetics is a human augmented technology used to mimic the human brain. With the help of the artificial chip, you will store, delete, and process information crucial for computing. This makes your brain super-efficient. This new artificial chip employs light to create and modify memories, moving the human race closer towards A.I. to replicate the human brain's sophistication.

Features

  • Employs electrical impulses to make memories
  • Based on an ultrathin material that alters electrical resistance in response to different wavelengths of light
  • Made up of a material known as black phosphorus

Price

Approximately $40,000

11. Nano Bugs

Nano bugs
Materials, Processes and Applictions

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Overview

Nano bugs are small robots in the range of 0.1-10 micrometers that carry specific functions. They are specifically designed in the range of 50-100 nm width. They can be employed to carry drug delivery effectively. Typically it has been observed that drugs need to travel through the entire body before reaching the disease-affected area. However, with Nano-Technology, the drug can be targeted to reach a specific location, making the medication more effective and reducing side effects.

Features

  • An effective medium in the future to deliver medicine directly to the cells that need them in the medical field
  • Equipped with sensors, nano bugs can be employed to monitor the changes in the region of the cells, reporting changes at the first sign of damage or malfunction

Price

$20

12. Flyboard Air

Flyboard Air

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Overview

Flyboard Air is the latest human augmentation offering that comes in the form of a turboprop board capable of unprecedented mobility. It consists of an advanced stabilization system in conjunction with propulsion, control, and stabilization system to reach aviation safety standard protocols. It is the most compact redundant aircraft ever created.

Features

  • Swift mobility in special operations
  • You can use it for Jettisoning from a helicopter or plane
  • You can use it for airshows and leisure activities
  • Highly recommended for security purposes since it consists of comfortable opening boots, independent fuel system, status indication through telemetry in the display integrated into the helmet, and five isolated turbines
  • You can access it on steep terrain
  • Flights in strong and turbulent winds
  • A performer can control it with the help of a joystick or by a person on the jet

Price

The approximate price per unit might be $250,000.

Concluding Thoughts

As we can see from the examples of human augmentation given in this write-up, the future of augmented humanity in terms of health and performance is very bright.

For more such exciting write-ups on upcoming technologies, please keep following and reading this section! 

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