Ex: Human Revolution" was only released last week and has already received
quite a bit of attention after GameStop pulled all of the OnLive coupons from sealed packages
and placed them back on the shelves for sale as new. Now, the new game is
catching the public's eye once again in a new video that investigates how far
we are from the future portrayed in "Deus Ex: Human Revolution."
Square Enix, publisher of "Deus Ex: Human Revolution," sent filmmaker
Rob Spence on a trip around the world to see where we are in the field of prosthetics, and how long it might be before our reality is
similar to that of "Deus Ex: Human Revolution."
In the game, lead character Adam Jensen is a cyborg who uses Terminator eyes,
which add situational data to vision, and robotic arms that are capable of
super strength and are able to produce weapons.
Spence can relate to Jensen somewhat, since he is a “cyborg” as well. Commonly
referred to as "Eyeborg," Spence utilizes an in-socket video camera
as one of his eyes, which records video that can be sent to a handheld LCD
viewer with no connection to the optic nerve. He lost his eye in a shotgun
accident as a child.
In his latest documentary, "Deus Ex: The Eyeborg
Documentary," Spence meets some of the most high-tech cyborgs who use
robotic eyes, arms or legs as replacement limbs/organs.
Along the way, Spence meets Miika Terho, a blind man from Finland who lost his
vision due to Retinitis pigmentosa. Terho's vision was restored through a chip
that was implanted underneath his retina. The chip replaced broken photo
receptors and allows his to make out shapes of many objects.
While the eye was obviously a central focus for Spence, he also explored the
use of other bionic body parts, such as the arm. In the documentary, he
interviews Jason Henderson, a man who lost both of his arms in a fireworks
accident. Henderson has robotic arms from below the elbow down to the hand on
both arms. He is able to use the remaining muscles in his arm to send
electrical signals to sensors in the bionic arms instructing them how to move.
He can also switch the types of "hands" he uses, from regular
five-fingered hands to those that look like curved discs, which are better for
As far as prosthetic legs go, former Army Staff Sgt. Heath Calhoun was
documented for having two bionic legs. He possess a hydraulic knee that has a
microprocessor inside, which is updated 50 times per second by a sensor that determines
whether or not to add hydraulic resistance. But Calhoun mentioned that a bionic
leg that can do stairs would make his life a lot easier, and that's where Össur
Prosthetics from Iceland comes in.
Össur Prosthetics has developed the Power Knee, which gives cyborgs the power
to stand up and walk up stairs more easily.
Prosthesis is even being used where it is not replacing a lost limb or organ,
but simply enhancing what we already have. For instance, Joseph Junke,
president and CEO of Tanagram Partners, is in the process of developing a mask
for firefighters that adds situational data to their vision as well as a glove
that activates it. By squeezing the glove into a fist and opening it back up
again, a firefighter wearing the specialized mask can see a menu of options
literally at his fingertips. The mask then displays information like oxygen
levels and ambient room temperature in certain areas.
Junke expects a prototype to be complete within one year, and production of the
masks/gloves to be in full swing in two years.
"I think technology moves more quickly now," said David Jönsson,
prosthetics engineer at Össur. "At the moment, it's more a matter of what
you can imagine. I mean, who says that a normal human leg is the optimal thing
for you? Prosthesis evolved to this leg that we have now, but who says that's
the end of the line?"
These questions may lead to people wanting to remove limbs surgically for the
bionic versions because they could work more efficiently and have more options
one day, and the documentary added that this could likely lead to a whole new
set of ethical questions. But for now, engineers are just starting to
experiment with neural prosthetics.
So when can we expect to see cyborgs like Jensen from "Deus Ex: Human
Revolution?" According to Junke, it's very likely that we could have a
similar reality before 2027. But the greatest challenge will be an interface directly connected with the
The documentary can be seen here.
quote: level 4 armor
quote: physicists maybe open some other forms of matter and/or energy. until then we are f#cked.
quote: say the cyborg was hit with a bullet or a laser or something) and all internal energy is released in a single blast. the freaking cyborg will obliterate its own army