Science fiction has always predicted different things about the future of humanity. On the one hand you have the Star Trek series that seems to predict that humanity will finally get its act together and live together in peace and harmony in the not so distant future. On the other hand you’ve got Ready Player One that seems to predict that the poor will become so poor that they will have to be warehoused in stacked trailers and use virtual reality to escape their dreary lives.
No one really knows for sure what the future holds for humankind, but many of the predictions SciFi has made about the future of human vision are already coming true.
In Star Trek Geordi LaForge was born blind but was able to see through the use of his VISOR, or Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement. It fed information directly to his visual cortex where he could detect things like vital signs, energy levels, and even when people were lying. Today scientists have come up with something similar.
Bionic Vision is a prosthesis that allows people to see a low resolution black and white image through an implant in the back of the eye which is fed by a camera on a pair of glasses. It is the first FDA approved device of its kind, and it signals the future of vision for people who are born without the ability to see, a step in the direction of humanity finally figuring it out and living in harmony so we can work to solve larger problems.
Ready Player One is another alternate prediction of the future. In the year 2044 all the fossil fuels have been used up and the environment is a disaster. The disparity between the rich and poor has grown immensely, and people play a virtual reality game not only to escape the harsh realities of their daily lives, but also to possibly win a hidden fortune. In this version of reality humanity has lost its way and people no longer care for each other but rather compete with each other for the scarce resources they need to survive.
The future of vision in this dystopian story is that you have to trick yourself into seeing something that is not there just to get by. Perhaps this scenario is humanity’s rock bottom from which they emerge triumphant?
Learn more about the future of SciFi vision from this infographic!