No, this is not another example in our fake for real series, comparing an artificial with a human hand. Rather, you are looking at twice the same hand: with and without its casing. The design of artificial hands has improved significantly over time and the depicted Fluidhand, created by researchers from Karlsruhe, is perhaps the most advanced prosthetic hand available today.
Yet, one wonders why the designers or artificial limbs always stick to the somewhat boring and predictable simulations of the human limbs they are replacing. If you have lost your hand and you need a prosthesis, why no grasp the opportunity to go for an upgrade?
Wouldn’t it be liberating if disabled people could receive more creative (and advanced) limb replacements? Think for example of a prosthesis with an integrated GPS–compass, MP3–player, USB–stick, smartphone or a fashionable eight finger octopus design? Yes, yes, we are aware non-prosthetic people might be slightly scared off – or even experience signs of anthorpomorphobia – at the sight of a prosthetic that doesn’t try to look like the human limb it is replacing. But then again, a faked plastic hand, that desperately tries to look like an original human hand but never really makes it, also causes uncanny feelings. So why not create something that’s better, or at least different than the real thing?
Please deliver us from the skeuomorph prosthetic designs, in which the visual appearance of the original human limb is retained merely as an ornament of a lost functionality. Wouldn’t it be much for empowering to transform the disabled into the enabled?