Colorblind Man Who Uses An Implanted Antenna To 'Hear' Colors Says We All Share The Same Hue

Incredibly fascinating.

 Neil Harbisson's world may appear black and white, but that's not what he hears.

"I am a cyborg," Harbisson says in Hearing Colors, a documentary created by Greg Brunkalla


Harbisson has achromatopsia, a rare visual condition that has left him completely colorblind. But in a world without color, he is able to see through the antenna doctors surgically implanted into the back of his head. He thinks of it as a "body part."

A color sensor at the top of the antenna detects light frequencies as he navigates the world in front of him. Next, those frequencies are sent to a chip in the back of his head and the information is turned into sound waves.

Now, he can hear colors.

For example, Harbisson says the sound of a taxi matches the sound of a lime, so he relates their two colors together.

"I don't feel that I am using technology," Harbisson says in a video posted on Vimeo by . "I don't feel that I'm wearing technology, I feel that I am technology."

Aside from using the antenna for his own personal benefit, Harbisson explains the device opens up dialogue about perceptions of reality between himself and those around him. 

People will ask him to scan their faces and tell them what they sound like, for instance.

And in 2010, Harbisson co-founded the Cyborg Foundation "with the intent of promoting cyborgism as a social and artistic movement," according to ABC News Australia.

"Now that I can hear color, I have such connections. And connections go beyond that as well, because also when I hear sounds I can relate the sound to an object or a color."

And there are things he sees that others don't...

"I used to think that humans were black and white and since I hear color I've detected that it's completely wrong..."

"...People that say they're black, they're actually very very dark orange. And people that say they're white...are actually very very light orange..."

"...So we are actually all sharing exactly the same hue."

In the final scene of the film, Harbisson stands in the center of Times Square, New York, staring up into the abyss of colors and lights surrounding him.

He says that being in Times Square, listening to all the colors, feels like being at 20 different concerts in the same place.

"I can hear it, and it's still the same for me. It's an energy."

Watch the full video below:

(H/T: DesignTaxi)

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