Technological breakthrough driven by science fiction is rapidly gathering momentum. Additive manufacturing, healthcare innovation, blend of reality and fantasy worlds open a new chapter of what is a human-being. People are ready for better, faster, enhanced self, improved via technology, becoming cyber human.
Breaking the stereotypes, the advanced machine-like human appears in various places: movies, songs, tv-series, scientific inventions, and even daily news. Doctors develop techniques to transcend human weakness and prolong, if not immortal, person. Human is ready to demand: "Superhero me!" Replacing the living tissue with artificially created one is not as terrifying as it used to be. Superhuman can be faster and more efficient. Google glasses are only one step towards Internet of Human future. Let's discover where it all comes from and how the future Terminator will arrive to the reality.
In the recent years, the popularity of comics has significantly grown expanding the target group from small to large and diverse audience. The graphic novels with fictional superheroes saving the world used to be just a fairy tail till the recent times when the need of an actual superhero has risen. 2014 was the breaking sales year for comics industry since the early 1990s. Facebook Fandom Spotlight has reported in February 2014 the growth of self-reported comics fans in the US over 24 million fans in the social network. Moreover, the female audience has gained almost half, 47 percent, of the share of the fans. 40 percent of the comic readers have graduated the college, and half of them have defined themselves to be single. Also, digitalisation seems to help the comics development. “Digital appears to be complementing, rather than cannibalizing, print,” says John Jackson Miller, American comic-book writer.
Analysing global crises, terrorist attacks, wars, a human can react differently. One of the possible outcomes is hiding inside four walls, dissolving in cocooning. Another is to take steps for change and fight for better future. How regular person can perform the change? Netflix has determined the trend of superhero demand and signed the contract with Marvel production. Besides four solo superhero series like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, there will be another production called The Defenders. Superheroes are diverse, overcoming the limits, empower humanity. All of these Netflix-series have been marveled by viewers. Consumers are obsessed with the regular person becoming powerful enough to fight with evil powers of today. Opening the frames of possible, there is hope for the hero to save the day and make it right.
The first step becoming a superhero is to advance the vision. Dr. Garth Webb, founder and CEO of Ocumetics Technology Corp, has invented the Ocumetics Bionic Lens, which will allow patient to see three times better than a standard vision. During the eight-minute surgery, the patient's eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens, which will ensure the lifelong vision improvement. “Perfect eyesight should be a human right,” said Dr. Webb to CBC News. The inventor claims that Bionic lens will never cause cataract, and the replacement surgery is safer that laser one. As long as the clinical trials will go as planned, the Ocumetics Bionic Lens will be in the market during next five years. No doubt, there will be the long line to get the Superhuman vision.
Enhancing the vision is one deal, but 3D printing and innovations will allow transforming one's weakness into the strength. New technologies allow printing body parts and even living tissue providing cost-effective and individualized care to patients. 3D bioprinting is revolutionizing the healthcare industry. Although technology is relatively new, bioprinting is moving fast. Blood vessels, heart value, skin, liver cells, bionic ear - everything can be printed. New opportunities touch not only health care, but the art world, embracing cyber humanity and overcoming the physical limits.
Victoria Modesta, an independent multimedia artist with a bionic leg, is an excellent example of the bionic superiority. Her leg has been amputated when she was 20 years old in 2007. However, it didn't stop her modelling and singer career. Victoria has managed to transform prosthetic leg into the accessory that distinguishes her from others. Victoria, the first Bionic Pop Artist, has appeared in the fashion magazines and had multiple concerts. In 2014, Modesta has released a music video "Prototype", which has gone viral, receiving worldwide attention and more than 6 million views on Youtube. In the video, Modesta's prosthetic leg is one of the most attention-grabbing asset. Glowing in the dark or formed as a black spike, the leg amazes. Fashion industry came around to celebrated the bionic uniqueness as well. Catwalks and fashion shows started to accept plus-sized models, magazines use less photoshop retouch, moving the industry closer to the real world. Bionic Super model is not as far in the future as one might think.
Humanity continues to unleash from limits. When society is going through the difficulties, people escape to a fantasy, which is safe is protective. At the same time, we make the reality closer to the fantasy world, turning self in Super Heroes. The bionic person with super vision is just a beginning of the era. R&D invests in enhancing human-beings and people are ready for the change.