Home Technology A day in the life of Neil Harbisson, the cyborg with an antenna to ‘hear’ colours

A day in the life of Neil Harbisson, the cyborg with an antenna to ‘hear’ colours

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A day in the life of Neil Harbisson, the cyborg with an antenna to ‘hear’ colours

Neil Harbisson is an artist born with a visual impairment that does not allow him to perceive colors. Since birth he has always observed the world in a grayscale. His life changed when he decided to have a special antenna surgically implanted in his skull, which is allowing him to perceive and “feel” colors. Neil now identifies each color with a particular musical note, even those that escape the human eye, such as infrared and ultraviolet. Harbisson considers this special antenna as an integral part of his body, like an arm or a leg, so much so that in 2014 he had a dispute with the UK passport office (being the son of Anglo-Spanish parents) which forbade him to wear it for the official photo for the issuance of the document.

In 2010 Harbisson founded the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization that studies how to expand people’s sensory capabilities through technological implants.

Video by Alessandro Allocca
Shooting by Alessandro Mariscalco

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