Reddit: How long do you think it will be before cyborgs like yourself become mainstream? What other applications do you see for similar technology, aside from people who are color-blind? To put it another way, what other Eyeborgs can be developed aside from one that can “hear” color?
Neil Harbisson: The antenna is like having a third eye and a third ear. So the same system could be used for numerous other things such as bone conducted telephone calls, to hear music directly in your head without using your ears, and for skull to skull communication.
R: Skull to skull communication?
NH: Not just yet but whenever someone else decides to have an antenna implanted in the skull I’ll be able to communicate with him or her by just sending and receiving images or sounds from my skull to his or her skull, and vice-versa.
R: Do certain activities have different sounds? Like, if you were riding your bike would you hear differently than if you were walking? What does kissing sound like, or sex?
NH: Yes each activity has different sounds and each person too. So in the case of the sound of sex and kissing, this will depend on your partners’ colours.
R: Don’t you get tired of the continuous sounds that you hear?NH: No, in the same way that most people are not tired of seeing colour continuously, my brain is used to hearing colour continuously too.
I never really wanted to be a cyborg, I became one. One day I woke up and I stopped feeling the difference between my brain and the software. Being a cyborg is feeling that you are technology and this is how I feel. My body and cybernetics have merge both mentally and physically. -Neil Harbisson
I think that being a cyborg is a feeling. It is to feel that you are no longer using technology and that you are no longer wearing technology, it’s to feel that you are technology. So it is difficult to tell how many people feel that they are technology in the same way that it is difficult to tell how many people feel like a woman. -Neil Harbisson
R: Can you describe a color that only you can hear?
NH: Infrared travels long distances, it’s a mysterious color as it appears and disappears suddenly, it can be perceived from far away, it sounds deep and it’s the only colour I can hear in total darkness.
NH: A lot. I’ve been living in a musical composition for the last ten years cause everything I look has sound. I now create music by looking at things. I create colour concerts.
R: I can’t quite wrap my head around this. What does a color sound like?
NH: Each colour has a light frequency that relates to a specific note. These are the exact notes that I hear but in an audible octave. Visual sounds come through my bone and audio sounds through my ears so they don’t clash. Yes, to me some colours clash, but that depends on one’s own taste. Yes, some of the new colour names are invisible to the human eye, but most of the ones in the palette are colours that most people can see but that haven’t been named (colours are infinite). To most people colour is a visual interference between the object and the mind, to me it’s a sound interference between the object and my mind.