Their Bionic Eyes Are Now Obsolete And Unsupported
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February 15 2022: A company that makes cybernetic eyes has filed for bankruptcy. This leaves over 350 customers/patients out in the world with no-longer supported cybereyes installed. The article discusses concerns about their eyes breaking down, the dangers and expense of the removal procedure, and the stress of regaining vision for a few short years and then facing the prospect of losing it again.


Game and Story Use

  • In a Cyberpunk or other game Twenty Minutes Into The Future, keeping your internal bionic parts up-to-date could be a common issue of real concern.
    • In the middle of an adventure, your cybernetic organ suddenly needs a firmware update. If you need to reboot in the middle of a fight, chase or stake-out, things could get ugly.
    • Is cyber-compatibility between different manufacturers a concern? It might be a way to keep cybernetic bonuses from stacking up over the length of a campaign, rather than the cyber-psychosis that some games love to use as a balancing tool. "I know it sounds like a stretch, but the balance-neuroprocessor from your cyberears aren't compatible with that model of telescoping cyberlegs."
      • Given the near-non-existent antitrust protections of most cyberpunk, it wouldn't be unrealistic for the manufacturers to do this on purpose in order to lock users into getting their implants from a single source.
        • Not to mention built in obsolescence so that you have to come back and buying again and again.
        • Or just the same "sale but really lease" arrangement that you get with a lot of things already - the supplier turns out to be able to reclaim or make you pay again for things you had already bought under the guise of an "update".
      • Hardware or driver conflicts would also be an appropriate result on a critical failure for a heavily chromed character, or a vulnerability for a hacker to exploit.
        • See the cyber entry under zombie for some ideas.
    • All sorts of high-tech body horror could come from unsupported hardware that's dangerous and painful to remove.
  • The model of cyber-eyes mentioned in the article is named for Argus, the magical peacock servant of Hera in Classical Mythology. So in a Scion RPG or urban fantasy campaign, this situation could be the earthly manifestation of someone slaying Hera's guardian.
  • The article has some interesting illustrations of various retinal implants and cyber eyes, that might be useful for visualizing what similar technology looks like. The "Argus II" is entirely implanted inside the eye socket, while the original "Argus I" has external "sunglasses and power-pack" accessories. There's also an illustration of an upcoming "Orion" brain implant, which is currently in trials.
  • Conversely, this sort of problem in the early history of a "cyberpunk" world could lead to heavy government regulation - or at least industry coagulation, making the bar to entry higher and suppressing innovation and diversity in the market. Not to mention standardization of software that makes hacking easier … especially for anyone who can use the compulsory government back doors to crack their way in…
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