From tattoos to piercings to cosmetic surgery, modifications of the human body have become quite commonplace, but how far will they go in the future? So far, medical science has limited most people’s plastic surgery options to a few routine procedures, and the art of tattooing has not progressed far beyond plain blue line art. But what might the future hold?
1. Human screens. I am always amazed that people are willing to get tattoos that cover their entire backs or other significant portion of their bodies, but they are. One day soon, I suspect moving-image tattoos will be an option. For example, someone might have a looping animation of a Harley-Davidson bike riding across their back. But there is no reason to stop graphic body art there. One day it will be possible for someone to transform their entire body into a programmable moving screen. I don’t know why anyone would want to do that, but trust me, they will.
2. Genetically engineered biological enhancements. If you are a rabid Spock fan today, the best you can do is to put pointy rubber attachments on the tops of your ears. Be patient, though; I am certain biologists will have a more enduring solution for you soon. Is it possible to modify someone’s DNA so that they grow pointy ears? I am certain that that is within the realm of possibility, as long as it is lucrative enough for genetic engineers. And if people can someday reprogram their genes to create Spock ears, why not change one’s genes to grow a third eye, an extra arm, or some other addition?
3. Mechanical additions. The concept of cyborgs is firmly entrenched in science fiction and pop culture. Someday soon, it will be possible for ordinary people to choose to insert machine elements into their bodies. Why might someone choose to do that? Perhaps to restore physical abilities. For example, a victim of paralysis might be able to walk again with the help of mechanical leg implants. Or perhaps to create new or enhanced abilities. For example, an athlete might want machine components to help him/her jump higher; in the not-too-distant future, that will be one more headache for officials at the Olympics. But, following the general theme of this article, mechanical additions might also be added simply for aesthetic reasons. Some people might want to be able to take off their glove and reveal a Luke-Skywalker-style mechanical hand (that sounds really creepy to me, but I am certain someone will want it).
If you think people with body modifications look creepy now, just wait. The future promises new and amazing enhancements to the physical body, and there are people out there who will use these enhancements in bizarre and unexpected ways.
Say, for example, you want to change your nose without the pain of rhinoplasty, then just consult the best surgeon/expert in your locality to avoid any mishap.