From Replacement Parts to Upgrades

The video speaks for itself...

This is a tremendously encouraging story, and it does not occur in a vacuum.

We noted just a few weeks ago that exoskeleton technology is now available (not just as a prototype or proof-of-concept, but commercially available) that restores the ability to walk to paraplegics. More recently we took note of major developments towards producing prosthetic limbs that can feel.

All of these developments were science fiction as recently as a couple of decades ago.

Imagine if bionic limb technology is on the same trajectory as other electronics technologies -- and I see no reason to imagine that it is not. Continued refinement of technologies that have already been developed will be accelerated by converging applications that leverage several at once.

Or to put it more simply, what Matthew has today is this:

We laugh at that thing, but it was a truly remarkable technological breakthrough -- well within living memory for many of us. Following the same arc, it won't be long before Matthew will have access to this:

How progress will play out in the realm of artificial limbs is not difficult to imagine. Before long, Matthew and others will have access to replacement limbs that look exactly like the real thing, but that are stronger, more durable, and more sensitive than the original equipment. If that sounds far-fetched to you, just imagine how the video above would have sounded 20 years ago.


  1. Wonder what the new "durable medical equipment" tax will be on that puppy, courtesy of Obamacare? Should greatly increase availability, yes?

    Or not...


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