Why Haptics?

Haptics is defined as “the science of applying tactile sensation to computer applications in order to enable users to receive feedback in the form of felt sensations” by Encarta, and more generally in the world of Psychology as the study of the┬ásense of touch or other tactile sensations. Haptics is an interesting field to me, it offers a world of opportunity for wearable, or temporary augmentations. There’s a whole subculture of transhumanists out there, grinders, for whom I have immense respect. They work with actually implanting devices within themselves and, in extreme cases, are working on gene bombardment therapies that will allow them to engage in self-induced macroevolution through the use of programmed retroviruses. Although, in practice, I find myself afraid to move to that fringe.

Call it cowardice, but I can not imagine what I would do if an implant went bad and I went blind, deaf, or otherwise unable to perform usual tasks. In lieu of the fearlessness needed to breach into the grinder territory, I want to use Haptics and other similar somatic stimuli coordinated with wearables to approximate the same results. I may not be able to have a magnet put into my finger to let me feel magnetic fields, but with a hall effect sensor, an op-amp, and a vibration motor, I can approximate the same thing. I may not be able to have super senses or strength, but I am confident that exoskeletons and somatic devices will be able to give the same effects; the only difference is that these changes are removable.

I want to evolve and transcend, and I want to use technology to do it, but I’m not sure I’m willing to cut myself up to do it just yet. I will stick with external augmentations for now.