At some point prosthetics and artificial sensory systems will rival that of natural biology – This is when the fun begins
At some point a generation of the technologies designed and developed to help people with disabilities will rival that of natural biology in terms of ability. This essentially means that one generation after this the technology will start to improve beyond biological function and start to become desirable as augments rather than prosthetics.
Hearing replacements will be the first thing that people will start opening up to. At some point the implants available will be equivalent to biology. Then it is not that complicated to think of a few features that could easily be added to improve them and make them desirable. Recording capabilities, amplification abilities, blue tooth abilities to function as headphones/earpiece for cell phones, sound cancellation, there are probably a hundred things that people could think of to improve human auditory function once it is being routed through an implanted device, pending power/size restrictions.
After that vision will probably slowly come along, likely bolstered by the success of the auditory augment market. If there are a hundred improvements people could think of for auditory function there are probably a thousand that we could come up with for vision. To name a few: recording capabilities, infrared, ultraviolet, heat sensors, zoom, HUD’s, and on and on. After this it becomes a little more complicated to design replacements for things like limbs and whatnot in a fashion that you would choose them over biology. Certainly there will be, and are, replacements available for those who have lost limbs that are better than biology in some very small aspects of their functioning but that pales in comparison with what is lost to biology. Eventually we will probably get there though.
Organs will probably be upgradable within the next 20-30 years. Blood probably as well. At some point we will have full on neural integration and that is where the real fun begins. Eventually you will be able to augment memory capabilities. Processing speeds might be a bit harder to augment but since these can already be altered in interesting ways pharmacologically it might be possible through some type of tech/pharma hybrid system. Although there are probably serious issues with that approach. If you can up processing speed by very significant amounts then the world will start to change dramatically.
At the same time you also will start getting into some really cool interfacing technology. Eventually you will probably not need to use things like keyboards, mice, motion commands, or voice commands. Crude systems will be developed using EEG skull caps. However, this approach has some serious limitations due to having to take readings through hair, skin, and skull, and then only being able to read the surface of the brain. Eventually though, if we start doing other kinds of functional implants then you could start doing some really cool implanted interface devices. This combined with processing speed = I would have output this post in seconds rather than minutes because for the most part I am just regurgitating and not generating new thoughts.
Those of us who are on the younger side of the age spectrum are in for a batshit crazy fucking whirlwind of a great time over the next 50 years.
I, for one, am super excited about it.
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