Body-Borne Computers as Extensions of Self

Leigh, S. W., Sareen, H., Kao, H. L. C., Liu, X., & Maes, P. (2017). Body-Borne Computers as Extensions of Self. Computers, 6(1), 12.


The opportunities for wearable technologies go well beyond always-available information displays or health sensing devices. The concept of the cyborg introduced by Clynes and Kline, along with works in various fields of research and the arts, offers a vision of what technology integrated with the body can offer. This paper identifies different categories of research aimed at augmenting humans. The paper specifically focuses on three areas of augmentation of the human body and its sensorimotor capabilities: physical morphology, skin display, and somatosensory extension. We discuss how such digital extensions relate to the malleable nature of our self-image. We argue that body-borne devices are no longer simply functional apparatus, but offer a direct interplay with the mind. Finally, we also showcase some of our own projects in this area and shed light on future challenges.

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