Building in Beyond Earth
+1 Health from Silica
A visual prosthesis – a bionic eye – is no longer implanted just to correct defects or injuries, although that remains a significant aspect; it now can serve many other purposes, from heightened sight to neural interface. On Old Earth, artificial retinal and sub-retinal implants offered sight to the visually impaired, and some research had progressed on microphotodiode arrays to allow vision into ranges of light not normally available to humans, colonial scientists followed a number of more radical paths in optical enhancement. One of the first advances was the development of implantable miniature telescopes and microscopes, common now among the colonial scientific community. Next came cortical and intracortical implants that allowed for direct visual access to data from computers and computer networks, a step in the progress towards direct brain-computer interface. Such augmentation has become common in some colonial settlements; just as has the transplanting of “alien eyes” has in others. Transgenetic and genetic engineering of sight organs better suited to this planet’s conditions was a controversial step, condemned by Purists but welcomed by those promoting Harmony. Finally, there are those among the newer generations who have opted for cosmetic optical implants, with a seemingly limitless range of colors and styles; currently “copepod eyes” with multiple lenses and nictitating membranes are popular. Optical surgeries offer all of these types, whether enhanced or merely fashionable, in settlements across the planet.