The Human Cyborg that Listens to Colors

Neil Harbisson, the first human cyborg, listens to colors and chooses his outfits by what it sounds like and not what it looks like.  The color-blind Harbisson has an antenna implanted into his skull that detects colors and sends the wavelengths via internal vibrations to his ears. He then interprets these sound waves and can tell what color shirt someone is wearing by the frequencies he hears. The antenna – which looks like a reading lamp – protrudes from the back of his head to hover just above his forehead. “I identify myself as a cyborg,” Harbisson says. The 33-year-old artist has been living with the antenna since 2004 and despite the initial headaches, his body and his brain have taken to the “technological organ” with ease. “Having an antenna in my head means that I have been stopped every single day in the street by strangers since 2004 and people ask what this is. In 2004 most people thought it was a reading light and they would ask me if I could turn on the light. In 2007/2008 people thought it was a hands-free telephone and they thought I was on the phone. In 2009 many people thought it was a GoPro and that I was filming my life, so many people waved at me thinking that I was filming them. In 2016 many people shouted at me “Pokemon” and they tried to catch me,” he said.


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