In the mythological world, Lord Shiva is supposed to have a third eye. But down here on earth, there is a new force who boasts of having the same.

Meet the eyeborg. Meet Neil Harbisson.

Neil was born with achromatopsia, a condition that only allowed him to see in black and white. This monochromatic world seemed fine in his childhood, but later society started encroaching on him. At a time where the world was booming with the likes of Pink Floyd, Bluetooth and Green Peace, Neil was sinking deep in his black sea

Who are Adam Mantandon, Peter Keese and Matias Lizana?

These are the brains behind the brain of Neil Harbisson. Thanks to these individuals Neil started hearing and perceiving colour in sound frequencies. From developing a head mounted colour sensor to fit the technology in a chip, these geniuses aided Neil in becoming a Cyborg – an evolved being. So much so that Neil’s eyeborg can now perceive more colours than the human eye.

When a superhero discovers his superpowers, he realizes he can do wonders. Our superhero was no different. Let me take you through all the extraordinary things Neil has achieved and wants to achieve in his lifetime.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white”

Perhaps the greatest gift Neil has passed on to the human race is the eradication of racial discrimination. According to him, all human beings are a shade of orange. Some light, some dark, but all orange. No one is black or white anymore. As the telecom company once said, “The future’s bright. The future’s Orange”.

Meet the happy side of ‘face the music’

See the different shades of orange. Say hello to your own face. Taking colour to the next level, Neil’s been making music, using colours depicted on one’s face. He also jokes around by saying now your face can give you your own ringtone. In this world of personalization, nothing gets more personal than this.

The colour of the season is F Major

Yes, you read that right. Neil dresses to sound good. And synchronizes his fashion sense to his mood. He even suggests wearing Requiem by Mozart to a funeral saying, “It may look colourful, but will sound sad”. His novel take on fashion will soon be replicated in a fashion collection in Barcelona. Now that sure does sound sweet, doesn’t it?

Every city has its own hues

According to Neil, no city is grey; cities too have their own colour. In a first-of-its-kind perspective, Neil brings a new palette to the cityscapes. With London washed in Gold and Red, Lisbon dons a light yellow and Turquoise. Madrid dazzles in is Amber Terracotta while our Mumbai swims in Celeste Blue. With this refreshing take on cities, you can’t just go and paint the town red anymore.


Like every great idea, Neil’s too is open to all. Using the Do It Yourself approach, Neil is ready to extend his cybernetic technology to anyone who wishes to develop their senses further. Making the software free for all, he guides people to make their own cybernetic equipment. The only difference between other DIY sites and his is that he is taking a disadvantage and turning it into an advantage that supersedes even humans.

Cyborg Foundation – The future sits here

In 2010, Neil started the Cyborg Foundation to help others in need. And the inventions so far have been nothing less than extraordinary. Like one cybernetic attachment, earrings, help detect movement with vibrations. In another, a miniature camera inside a finger can detect colour or take pictures. But possibly the greatest innovation his foundation is working on is happening at Ecuador.

Ecuador – Where no one turns a blind eye

The cyborg foundation is developing an electronic eye for the blind communities. With this tool, blind people can hear words instead of colour, thereby eradicating the need to convert them into brail. With this cybernetic revolution, the blind people of Ecuador will finally see the light of day.

Neil Harbisson – The ambassador of tomorrow


Neil Harbisson is wearing the future on his sleeve. This man with innate humour is turning the page of human beings with his cyborgism. He believes that we can reverse the nature of our senses, where instead of losing its lustre, our senses can develop even further, making us look forward to growing old. His story needs to be told and retold. This is me just playing my part. Because every great idea must be shared.

This is an entry for The Idea Caravan contest on IndiBlogger by Franklin Templeton Investments who partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s