Cyborg Unplugged

from the messing-with-his-mind dept

Yesterday Wired News was running an article about a new documentary about Steven Mann, often credited with creating the first wearable computer. However, in today’s NY Times, there’s an even more interesting article about what happened to Mann last month. Apparently, he tried to board an airplane, and security guards were not thrilled with his wearable setup. After three days of arguing, he claims that they forced him to remove his wearable computer injuring himself and breaking parts of the machine. When they eventually let him get on board, he says they didn’t return $56,800 worth of computing material. The most interesting part, however, is at the end of the article where he says that without the system (which he has been using for about 20 years) he is having trouble functioning. After the system was removed he claims he fell down twice while trying to walk through the airport, and had to board the plane in a wheelchair. In the weeks since then, he claims that he cannot concentrate and is “behaving differently”. He is even undergoing tests to see if his brain is affected by this sudden de-cyborging. It could be very interesting to see what the effects are of suddenly yanking away cyborg-like technology from someone who has lived with it for so long.

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Comments on “Cyborg Unplugged”

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Mobytech says:

Probably true!

If you’ve ever had the chance to meet Dr. Mann,
you’d believe that he does have trouble functioning without his gear.

I got the chance a few years ago when he crashed
a party I was throwing. In the hour I sat and
talked with him, he had handled several emails,
ran a few searches, read a technical draft…
all without missing a beat in our conversation.

Shortly after meeting him, I spent a week with
a xybernaught unit strapped to my belt (along
with all the other must haves that causes my
wife to refer to it as the “bat belt”), when
you are immersed in a protable system it’s very
different from pulling out a palmheld. It’s very
much comparible to the always on of broadband,
you just can’t go back to near line computing.

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