Our bionic technologies have come a long way in the past few decades, certainly progressing into the realm of science fiction.

It’s now possible to get a real sense for objects through a robotic hand due to nerve integration, and a greater degree of control than ever before.

Coupled with advances in digital expression technologies, it may soon be possible for people who have been the victim of debilitating accidents to regain a sense of identity.

One technology, AgencyGlass, is being developed by Dr. Hirotaka Osawa from Tsukuba University in Japan. While not practical at present, the glasses serve as a reminder of what’s possible in the field of cybernetics – and where the technologies could eventually progress.

“I wanted to build a system that is capable of carrying out social behaviours for humans,” he told AFP.

AgencyGlass looks like normal glasses, but can display different digital eyes emotions through two screens mounted in place of the lenses. The user can cycle through present emotions such as happiness, sadness and anger.

The glasses are also able to look up when the presence of someone else is detected, and blink when the user nods or shakes their head.

While Dr. Osawa has no plans to create a consumer version of the product, he is looking ahead at other possibilities for the technology, including a similar cybernetic smile.

It’s possible these emotion representation devices will eventually be used for victims of accidents, wired into nerves to display emotion. Advancements would be needed through, as the technologies are still very much in the early stages of development.

It’s likely even the field of robotics could benefit eventually, creating more human machines. Coupled with an intelligent robot like ASIMO, expressive machines could become the standard for elderly care, and even assistance in schools.

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