Six months ago, Omega Ophthalmics did a small trial of seven patients outside of the US. Their goal was to test for adverse effects of a surgery similar to lens replacements that often accompany cataract removals. The difference? Rather than replacing the cloudy lens with a normal artificial lens, surgeons instead implanted a lens that could be used for augmented reality, interactive sensors, or drug delivery.
Why it’s hot
Although widespread adoption of this technology is unlikely in the near future, scientists, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists hope that there is a market for such implants in an aging population that wants to be independent for longer. Whether this small trial is successful may pave the way for larger trials to test additional possibilities and risk.
When Elon Musk is not driving the expansion of intergalactic colonial footprint through SpaceX or exploring ways to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels, he is building a brain-computer interface venture called Neuralink.
The company is creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain with the aspirational hope to help humans merge with software and keep pace with the advancements of artificial intelligence. Musk is once again pioneering the exploration of tech innovation – progress called “neural lace”, which is a sci-fi shorthand for a brain-computer interface humans can use to improve themselves.
The aspiration is very positive – could help improve memory and allow for more direct interfacing with computing devices. Forget Google Glass, iWatches or Oculus Rift – our ability to connect with digital ecosystems will be embedded in our brains, arms, legs, abdomen.
Why It’s Hot:
Closer step to merging biological intelligence and digital intelligence will help accelerate the speed of the connection between our brains and digital outputs of who we are – emails, texts, likes, web searches, online purchases, etc.
Bigger leap on medical innovation – ameliorating the effects of Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and other neurodegenerative diseases through electrodes and other implants.
Why It might be COLD:
it is incredibly dangerous and invasive to operate on the human brain and only those who have exhausted every other medical option choose to undergo neuro-related surgeries. it’s always a last resort -would the risk be worth it?