Neil Harbisson's Eyeborg

Topics: Color, Color blindness, Sound Pages: 3 (1010 words) Published: November 27, 2012
Neil Harbisson's Eyeborg
Maria Marrero
Palm Beach State College


This paper explores the new technological advances for people with Achromatopsia from research conducted mostly online. All of the research conducted explains the device on how it is used and what it is used for. It also shows how the sounds are conducted so the people using the eyeborg can understand it. Neil Harbisson's Eyeborg

Barcelona based artist, Neil Harbisson was born with a condition called Achromatopsia which means that he was born color-blind. He has described himself as a cyborgist and colorologist. With the help of a new technological device that is attached to the back of his skull can translate color to sound. Harbisson can hear the color of sound through audible frequencies through this device in which he calls an "eyeborg".

Harbisson has used the term sonochromatism (or sonochromatopsia) to define his new condition. He explains that "achromatopsia can no longer define his condition because achromatopsics cannot perceive nor distinguish colors. He also explains that synesthesia does not define his condition accurately because the relation between color and sound varies depending on each person, whereas sonochromatopsia is an extra sense that relates color to sound objectively and equally to everyone" (Harbisson, 2012).

The idea for the device came about when he was attending Dartmouth College of Arts in England, where Harbisson met Adam Montandon  who was giving a lecture on cybernetics and they [came together] to start developing the eyeborg project (Disaster, 2012). The device, called an eyeborg, comes out of the back of his head and hangs in front of his eyebrow. Jennifer Lee, writing for the New York Times, says:

Mr. Harbisson’s current eyeborg is pressed against the base of his head with extremely high pressure, which allows the sounds to reverberate along his skull to his eardrums. But his new eyeborg, to be implanted in September, will be...
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