Be honest. Would you really want one of your arms sawed off and replaced with a mechanical one that could turn into a sword? I mean, fer realsies?
I’m not saying it wouldn’t be cool, but how practical would it really be? I feel like you might, occasionally, get to use your cybersword arm to cut the tape on a delivery box or maybe trim the hedges in your front yard, but rarely would you get to use it in an actual fight. At least not without immediately going to jail where, I assume, they wouldn’t let you keep your shiny, stabby new cyberarm.
So, realistically, if you could upgrade a part of your body with cyberware, what would it be? Synthetic eyes for improved vision and video recording? An internet connection implant so you could scroll Twitter in your mind? A voice-stress analyzer so you could tell if people were lying? A silver hand, like the guy with the silver hand, Johnny… I forget his last name.
Here are answers from some of our writers and forum members. Tell us what sort of cyberware you’d have installed below in the comments.
Robin Valentine: I have an absolutely dreadful memory, and as it is I already essentially outsource remembering things to various electronic devices via note apps, calendars, alerts, etc. Probably the biggest difference a bit of cyberware could make to my life would be to bundle all that stuff up and connect it directly to my brain, feeding me reminders of anything I need to know and cataloging my plans and ideas as I think of them.
Jody Macgregor: I’d want cyberaudio implants for my ears, with a level damper precise enough to shut off specific noises. Construction going on outside while I’m trying to work? Not a problem. Concert too loud? Drop the volume by 40 percent. Sure, subdermal armor would be nice, and some kind of implant that delivers medication automatically so I don’t have to remember to take my pills would be sensible. But what I really want is something that will let me turn off background noise at the pub so I can hear a conversation.
Andy Kelly: I’d like an implant that shoots my brain full of some kind of mind-altering chemical whenever I start to lose faith in a project. Instead of working on something for ages, then suddenly deciding it’s crap and deleting it, I’d trigger my Arasaka Creativity Booster XV and eject those thoughts from my mind. Then I might actually finish something.
Dave James: Eyes. It would have to be new eyes. As my failing eyesight grows steadily worse, and I slide inexorably towards late life blindness, the call of bionic eyeballs is unbelievably strong, and potentially possible with modern advances in digital connections with the optic nerve. I honestly wouldn’t need infrared, 50x digital zoom, Google integration, or anything like that. Just 20/20 vision in the morning when my eyelids flicker open would be enough.
Alan Dexter: I’d like some form of hardware reset. Being able to wipe my short term memory to make room for more important things than 80s song lyrics would be great.
Chris Livingston: I think I would pass, actually! If I had some manufactured parts or software running in my body, I assume they’d work just like every other device in my life works, which is not all that well. Do I really want to wake up and not be able to use my cyber eyeballs until I’ve completed a captcha and logged into my account? Do I want my robot leg to suddenly stop working because I’ve lost my wifi connection? Google Chrome used to be great, but now it’s just so bloated it slows everything else down—do I want the same thing happening to the cyber-dong I had installed? My body ain’t a picnic, but at least when it breaks down I can call my doctor instead of putting in a support ticket.
Frindis: I’d like some kind of spiderman hooks embedded into my hands so I could be doing free climbing like Alex Honnold. Besides that, I’d love to have a cybernetic chameleon face, so I could
steal borrow the identity of a person for a couple of hours. For research purposes of course.
Zloth: Give me the eyes – and I want to see all the colors! No mapping them to existing colors: red stays red, shortwave radio is a completely new color. Oh, and I assume this comes with the fat-away nanobots where you just think about what fat you want to reduce and the nanobots chew it all up? Because the guy down the street says they’re standard.
McStabStab: A guy I work with just got new hearing aides and they connect to his phone or other devices via Bluetooth. Pacemakers, insulin pumps, prosthetic limbs, etc. body augmentation technology is definitely going this way. I don’t know if I’d want anything you’ve listed because they all give me flashbacks to Black Mirror episodes, but I wouldn’t mind having some sort of exoskeleton I could hook into in the event that I had to lift something incredibly heavy.