If you’re a long time read of Unfinished Man, you probably remember my year long obsession with Deus Ex: Human Revolution. For those of you that have forgotten or are new here, it’s a video game featuring a character with a set of extremely impressive prosthetic arms. I thought he was a bad-ass, and since then, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for information on the latest advances in prosthetic technology.
As with most technologies, improvements come in fits and starts, and today I’ve got a great fit… or maybe a start? It’s the BeBionic3 myoelectric prosthetic hand, and in my (perhaps ignorant) opinion, it’s a quantum leap forward from those who have lost their hands through accidents or birth defects. But you don’t have to take my word for it, we’ll let Nigel Ackland explain.
Getting a grip on Reality – The BeBionic3 Hand
Now, I have two perfectly functioning organic hands of my own, but I’m still extremely excited about advances like this. People lose limbs in accidents all the time, and as a species, I don’t think we’re going to stop waging war any time soon either. It’s a rough world out there, and sometimes we’re just dealt a bad hand in the limb department. Above and beyond this, I think there’s value in technologies like this even for those of us who aren’t missing limbs. Perhaps one day the technology will become sophisticated enough that it’s actually better than the real thing. Faster, stronger, more precise.
Interestingly enough, the BeBionic3 actually looks quite good too. It’s skinable (don’t laugh), with a wide range of colors and designs available. You could be the most fashionable amputee around! (I’m so, so sorry). The mix of carbon fiber and aluminum gives the hand a distinctly futuristic aesthetic, and were I in a position to wear one, I don’t think I would bother with the optional skin covering. No, instead I would just tell people that I’m close friends with Adam Jenson, and that he decided to hook me up.
Yes, the technology is advancing rapidly, but there’s still a long way to go. As Nigel explained, there are a number of pre-set positions that you can configure the hand for, but I think that things will get really exciting when a person can simply switch between them on the fly through either a direct interface with the wearer’s brain, or somehow more precisely interpreting muscles twitches or nerve impulses. Exciting stuff.
More Information on BeBionic
If you’re interested in learning more about the BeBionic3, head over to their website and take a look around. In particular, keep an eye on their news page. They frequently update it with user videos of people showing off their hands, and it’s actually rather heart warming.