CYBORG FOUNDATION is the Grand Jury Prize Winner in the $200,000 GE FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition. Watch the winners at focusforwardfilms.com/winners.
Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, a rare condition that causes complete colour blindness. In 2004, Harbisson and Adam Montandon developed the eyeborg, a device that translates colours into sounds.
Harbisson has been claimed to be the first recognized cyborg in the world, as his passport photo now includes his device. In 2010, Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas created the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization to help humans become cyborgs. The foundation has also experimented with other sensory devices, including an “earborg,” which translates sound into color, and a “speedborg,” which allows people to detect movement through electronic earrings that vibrate.
Artist Neil Harbisson is completely colour-blind. Here, he explains how a camera attached to his head allows him to hear colour.
Until I was 11, I didn’t know I could only see in shades of grey. I thought I could see colours but that I was confusing them.
When I was diagnosed with achromatopsia [a rare vision disorder], it was a bit of a shock but at least we knew what was wrong. Doctors said it was impossible to cure.
When I was 16, I decided to study art. I told my tutor I could only see in black and white, and his first reaction was, “What the hell are you doing here then?” I told him I really wanted to understand what colour was.
I was allowed to do the entire art course in greyscale – only using black and white. I did very figurative art, trying to reproduce what I could see so that people could compare how my vision was to what they saw. I also learned that through history, there have been many people who have related colour to sound.
At university I went to a cybernetics lecture by Adam Montandon, a student from Plymouth University, and asked if we could create something so I could see colour. He came up with a simple device, made up of a webcam, a computer and a pair of headphones and created software that would translate any colour in front of me into a sound.
Via BBC. Continue article HERE. Thanks to Crystal Henson