"Neil Harbisson is, quite literally, a man who has always viewed life in black and white. The 22-year-old Spaniard, who moved to Totnes in south Devon in 2003, was born with achromatopsia, a rare condition that affects only one person in 33,000 and causes monochromatism, or complete colour blindness.
But last year, he was able to see – or, more accurately, hear – colours for the first time. Neil has been fitted with a machine that turns colours into soundwaves, with a different sound representing each hue. The Eye-Borg, as it is known, features a head-mounted digital camera that reads the colours in front of Neil and converts them into sound. A scale of musical tones represents the spectrum of colours – light hues are high-pitched, while darker colours sound bolder. It is, in a way, forced synaesthesia; its creator, 24-year-old digital multimedia expert Adam Montandon, describes the invention as "like hearing a colour wheel"."
I think 'Eye-Borg' is a bit of a silly name, especially as it doesn't communicate what it's really for. In any case I'm all for people enabling themselves, to overcome shortcomings, or go beyond their biological limitations. I look forward to finding out more about this project.
[ Link to HMC MediaLab ]