You may have noticed that our computer programs and devices are constantly being upgraded -- we've had to update Adobe five times while typing this sentence. So, when is the technology going to come along to upgrade us?
Why, for instance, are our bodies stuck with the same lame five senses our caveman ancestors had? Sure, we can go in for laser surgery to correct bad vision, but why can't we get super vision while we're there? Well the good news is, those human upgrades are on the way. They just hopefully won't need to be updated again a week later. (Seriously, Adobe, what's wrong with you?)
Gloves That Let You Feel Virtual Sensations
Our fingers are pretty good at feeling the things they're currently touching, but not so good at feeling everything else. You know what the table in front of you feels like, but what if you want to touch, say, a rhinoceros, and there are none around? That's where science comes in. Scientists have designed a glove that'll allow your digits to feel virtual sensations, like the soothing skin of an alpaca, or the smooth surface of a brand new car, or -- OK, yeah, most people are gonna use this for porn, probably.
John Rogers/University of Illinois
It already has giant sperm stenciled on it.
So far, the researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have managed to create a set of "smart fingertips" that can send electrical signals to the skin. It's basically a tiny little condom made of a circuit-polyimide structure, which is fitted onto a finger-shaped tube of silicon and then your actual finger. The applications for this are numerous, from highly precise surgery to contact sports. Or porn, did we mention porn?
Not only can this thing theoretically transmit different sensations like hot or cold, but the article also mentions that it "could restore sensation to people who have lost their natural skin," like burn victims or amputees. Does that mean they could help disabled people actually feel their prosthetic limbs? Because that would be amazing.
Sgt Ian Forsyth RLC/MOD
Your missing arm will still itch, but now your replacement will, too!
But imagine a future where you can't just browse the Internet, but actually touch it. Imagine scrolling down your Tumblr feed and being able to feel the fur of that LOLcat, or Tom Hiddleston's face, or Tom Hiddleston's face again. For once, all that baffling talk of "feels" would be justified. Just make sure you take off your electronic glove before you go into 4chan or you could end up touching someone's virtual turd.