Published on September 6th, 2016 | by David0
Prosthetics Becoming Fashion Statements
The world of prosthetics is changing rapidly with manufacturers focusing on how to make replacement limbs more stylish as well as more efficient
Prosthetics are becoming more than just limb replacements. Patients are seeking devices that enhance their lifestyle, show off their artistic side, or are put together in new ways to make their lives better. This is great for the disabled amputee community, in this article Dave Laufer, director of orthotic and prosthetic services at Walter Reed explains.
“Traditionally, doctors were making hands, cosmetic hands, that would pretend to be human, have fake skin, fake coloring and fake painting,” said Samantha Payne, co-founder of Open Biotics. “Whereas now, there has been a huge change in attitudes. We all want to have different colored hair, tattoos. We want some expression. We really value that in our culture.”
Internally, the new arms, called Titan arms, are designed to work better and more efficiently than other, older prosthetic arms. However, externally, they allow the user to showcase their sense of expression with an arm that looks like Adam Jensen’s arm from the video game, providing a better sense of self for the amputee.
When Oscar Pistorius became the first double-leg amputee to participate in the Olympics, it not only opened the door for other amputees to see what they could do with new devices but inspired normal humans to augment themselves.
Neil Harbisson is the first human to be officially recognized as a cyborg by a government body, the United Kingdom, when they allowed his passport photo to include his enhancement. Harbisson has an antenna attached inside his skull to allow him to hear the light frequencies of color, including infrared and ultraviolet rays.
Haribisson considers himself to be transhuman, someone who resembles a human in most respects but who has power and abilities beyond those of typical humans. It would appear he’s not alone.
Theoretical discussion about advanced prosthetics and augmentation and their place in the world and human evolution has been going on for decades, but the advancements in prosthetic technology are drawing people ever closer to a day when many people may choose to become and experience more than they currently do.
However, today’s amputees are enjoying the fruits of those advancements, allowing them to resume activities, express themselves and improve their emotional states of mind.