Think we are stuck with the senses we are born with? Think again, says Ben Walker
The neuroscientist David Eagleman knows that you can replace one sense with another. A sensory vest can be used to translate sounds into touch – so the profoundly deaf can learn “hear” words spoken to them through a series of impulses on their body. Other technologies allow the blind to “hear” visions through specially designed glasses.
So if we can substitute senses for those that lack one, can we add senses for those that have all five? In this amazing TedTalk, Eagleman proves that we can. Using the vest, subjects were fed a series of data from the internet as a series of pulses.
After receiving the information this way, they are asked a question. They have absolutely no idea or understanding of the nature of the data they are being sent from the internet – it is merely a series of pulses sent to the sensory vest.
Unbeknown to the guy being tested, it’s stock market data, and the questions he is answering are buying and selling decisions. He gets sensory feedback telling him how good his decisions were.
Eagleman, who spends the talk getting live feedback from Twitter on the talk itself, says the possibilities of the technology are limitless. Perhaps one day you could feel the overall health of your business via a series of data being fed to you as sensory pulses? Makes you think – or feel.