Upgrade your ears: Elective auditory implants give you cyborg hearing


From Extreme Tech:

Cochlear implants have successfully restored hearing to thousands of deaf individuals. With steady advances in microelectronics, their footprint has shrunk to the point where a fully implantable hearing device is now a reality — the microphone can even be put under the skin. Few today would trade their natural hearing for the reduced quality of a cochlear implant. The ability to pinpoint sound sources, separate them in a chattering crowd, and absorb their full frequency and temporal characteristics are all casualties of hearing loss that cochlear implants can only partially restore. As we learn how the brain achieves these fantastic feats of signal processing, and how to work with those innate mechanisms, these areas will become strengths of the implant, rather than weaknesses. At that point many will begin to ask the inevitable question — what if you don’t have to lose your hearing to get an implant?

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