If you could pick–and I’m sure you’ll rarely get this chance–the next family to move in next door to you, who would you pick? The Partridge Family? The Adams Family? The Harriets? How about… The First Cyborgs.
Well, small scale bionic applications are actually being installed in a large number of people, primarily for medical conditions that fail to respond to traditional therapies. So, it will become increasingly more likely over the next decade that your neighbor will be “hard wired” in some way. This article from ZDNet News provides a nice objective overview of many ideas applications that are popping up in the neurotechnology industry. You should at least skim through the article, so that you’ll be ready when your send over a house-warming pie to your new neighbor.
Be thoughtful regarding some of the applications, however. This suggestion is certainly not encouraging “dooms-day” reactions to bionics, but to be wary of new technology companies spitting out bionic chips for uses where alternate, cheaper, and more reasonable approaches are available.